Pea and mint soup is a classic British recipe that just sings of spring and summer. Simplicity is everything here, and just a few ingredients produce the brightest, punchiest flavours.
Light, bright and zingy, this nourishing and frugal soup is a real treat.
Pea and mint soup recipe
This lovely light and delicate soup makes the most of the return of fresh spring ingredients. The vibrant green colour is so cheerful and it all tastes so good that you can almost feel it doing you good.
Unlike the marrowfat pea soup for which London smog was named, this soup uses bright green garden peas. The flavours are bright and zingy, and guaranteed to lift the spirits.
Everyone has frozen peas in the freezer, and even when peas are in season these are usually the best option.
Peas don’t suffer for being frozen and they are processed so quickly that they end up tasting fresher than fresh pods from the market. Obviously if you grow your own, that’s different!
Serve this wonderful pea soup hot, just warm, or even chilled on hotter days. It’s very easy to make but dressed up with a pretty garnish, it makes a big impression at a dinner party too.
Why make pea and mint soup
- Delicious and fresh tasting
- Probably one of the quickest and easiest soups you can make
- Uses minimal ingredients and is a great use of that bag of frozen peas
- There’s two of your five-a-day in every portion
- Peas are packed with protein, so this rather light soup is still filling
- It’s very easy to make
- It is ideal for batch cooking and freezes well. Double or triple the recipe with very little extra work.
Pea & mint soup recipe ingredients
- Peas – Fresh or frozen, but I recommend frozen peas or petit pois. Commercial frozen peas go from plant to freezer so quickly that you really cannot get fresher unless you grow your own, and harvest them to cook immediately. You need plenty of peas for this recipe, so frozen is so much easier and cost effective.
- Onions & garlic – Red or white onions, shallots, or even a small leek or stick of celery to bring a more savoury note. Use what you have.
- Spring onions (scallions) – Adds some freshness and extra flavour.
- Fresh Mint – Use regular common garden mint, not fierce peppermint. If you don’t have a garden you can buy it from the supermarket.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
Cut mint keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Trim the stalks and stand in a jug or jar of water in the fridge. It will last longer if you pop a plastic bag over the leaves. Top up and change the water every few days.
Use in mint sauce, to make peppermint tea and in cold-brew green tea.
- Olive Oil – Good quality extra virgin olive oil for flavour
- Butter – Adds flavour and texture to the soup. Swap for extra olive oil or your usual dairy free alternative if you prefer.
- Stock/Broth – Chicken or vegetable. Use your favourite.
- Lemon – Add a squeeze of juice at the end. Lemon (or a drop of apple cider vinegar) will work as a flavour enhancer, just as salt does. In fact, if you are trying to cut down on salt, this is a great trick. It lightens and brightens the dish and gives everything a lift. Try it!
How to make pea and mint soup – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips, so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – First prepare onion, garlic and spring onion so they can be lightly fried to make the base of the soup.
- Slice the onion in half, then “top and tail” to remove the stalk and root. Then peel off the papery skin and roughly chop.
- Top and tail the spring onions, remove the outer layer of skin and cut up.
- Peel the garlic, and cut up.
Step Two – Add the butter and olive oil to a large pan and melt over a low heat. Fry the onion and spring onion over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring all the time.
Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes until the onion is translucent. It should be turning golden at the edges and will also smell delicious.
Garlic takes less time to cook than onion and also easily burns. Burnt garlic is horrid! When frying, always cook the onion and other vegetables for a while before you add the garlic.
Step Three – Add the peas (reserving a few for garnish), stock and mint. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer.
If the peas are frozen, then reaching a simmer can take time. If you know you are going to make this soup, get the peas out of the freezer ahead of time. Put them in a large bowl and cover with hot water from the kettle. Let them sit for 30 minutes to defrost. Strain and then use.
Step Four – Simmer for 4–5 minutes. Peas are delicate and barely need any cooking. If you overcook them, the flavour will be spoilt. You will also lose that lovely fresh green colour, leaving the soup grey and muddy.
Step Five – Allow the soup to cool a little. Then blend your pea and mint soup with a stick blender until smooth. You can use a food processor or jug blender if you prefer, but the stick blender is quick and easy.
IMPORTANT – When you blend hot soup in a jug blender or food processor, always remove the central bung and hold a folded tea towel over the hole. This allows the steam to escape. If you don’t, it can blow the top of the blender. This is one of the reasons why I use a stick blender!
Once the soup is blended, you can adjust the consistency, adding a little more stock if you prefer. Then season to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon to serve.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy blender. I use a very basic stick blender from the supermarket. It has been going strong for years.
I really love to garnish my soup. A little touch of something with a contrasting texture gives it a real lift and makes it look special too. Try these ideas or experiment with your own.
- Garnish with a few of the reserved peas, a spring of mint and a drizzle of oil or cream.
- Peas go well with bacon so add a few crispy lardons. The contrasting colour looks pretty too.
- Use a few drops of your favourite herb flavoured oil.
- If you like your soup to be rich and creamy, you can add a swirl of cream or yoghurt, dairy or otherwise.
- Sprinkle with toasted seeds.
- Top with a little herby cream cheese or crumbled feta.
- If you like a creamy soup but don’t want the calories, then add some cauliflower to the pan. It will give a surprisingly creamy effect.
- For a more substantial soup, you could add a small diced potato to the mix. Don’t add too much, however, as it can spoil the texture. Simmer the potato for about 15 minutes, until soft, and then add the peas.
- Add watercress for a bitter note that will contrast with the sweetness of the peas.
- Add some buttery lettuce along with the garlic.
- If you like a touch of heat to balance out the sweetness, add a little wasabi to taste. Do this a little at a time.
- Add a touch of horseradish to some sour cream and then swirl on top.
Fridge – Allow your pea and mint soup to cool first. Then pack into containers, seal and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer – Once cold, pack into containers, seal and freeze. It will store for up to 6 months.
Reheating – Defrost in the fridge overnight, or on the kitchen counter for a few hours. Reheat your roast tomato soup in a pan on the stove top, or in a safe container in the microwave. When using the microwave, I like to use a Pyrex-style jug for convenience.
Hints and tips
- Do not over cook the peas because they need very little cooking time. You do not want to ruin that lovely fresh taste.
- For safety’s sake let the soup cool a little before you blend it. If bending in a jug blender or food processor, leave the bung off and cover the opening with a folded tea towel so the steam can escape.
Yes, absolutely. I use a mix of olive oil and butter, as the butter makes the soup a little richer and gives flavour too. If you want a dairy free soup, however, just use extra oil or your usual butter substitute, along with a vegan stock.
I think so! It’s low in calories, filling and sustaining. If you want to leave the butter out, you can use a little more oil instead.
Yes, and I’ve suggested some in the variations above – cauliflower or potatoes for a richer soup, watercress, lettuce…
You could also use leeks or finely chopped courgettes. If you really fancy pushing the boat out, how about pea and asparagus?
You can blend it in a power blender to get the consistency you want. This will also reheat the soup!
More soup recipes
- Pappa al pomodoro – The Italian classic to use up stale bread, taught to me in Tuscany by an Italian nonna!
- Tomato, red pepper and red lentil soup – Quick, easy, warming and packed with protein from the lentils.
- Celeriac soup – Delicious rich soup which is dinner party worthy
- Easy gazpacho soup – A classic chilled soup for summer.
- Creamed pea and turkey soup – Full of protein and a great way to use all your leftovers.
- All my easy soup recipes are here for you to explore. I’ve got a soup for every occasion!
- Make your simple soup into a feast by serving with fabulous homemade bread!
Pea & Mint Soup
- 1 small onion
- 3 spring onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter (or non dairy alternative)
- 750 g shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
- handful fresh mint
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 750 ml stock (3 cups)
- 1 tbsp cream (optional)
- First prepare onion, garlic and spring onion. Peel and top and tail as needed. Then chop roughly into small pieces.1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, 3 spring onions
- Add the butter and olive oil to a large soup pan and melt over a low heat. Fry the onion and spring onion over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring all the time.Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter
- Add the peas (reserving a few for garnish), stock and mint. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer.750 g shelled peas, handful fresh mint, 750 ml stock
- Allow to simmer for about 4–5 minutes. Peas are delicate and barely need any cooking. If you overcook them, the flavour and appearance will be spoilt.
- Allow the soup to cool a little. Then blend your pea and mint soup with a stick blender until smooth. You can use a food processor or jug blender if you prefer, but the stick blender is quick and easy.
- Once the soup is blended, you can adjust the consistency, adding a little more stock if you prefer. Then season to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon to serve. Garnish with a few extra peas, a sprig of mint and a drizzle of olive oil.1 tbsp cream, 1 tbsp lemon juice
- If the peas are frozen, then bringing to a simmer can take some time. If you know you are going to make this soup, get the peas out of the freezer in advance. Put them in a bowl and cover with hot water from the kettle. Let them sit for 30 mins or so to defrost. Strain and then use.
- When you blend hot soup in a jug blender or food processor, always remove the central bung and hold a folded tea towel over the hole. This allows the steam to escape. If you don’t, it can blow the top of the blender. This is one of the reasons why I use a stick blender!
- This recipe is 9 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion