Three Soups for Spring

These recipes have been reproduced from All Souped Up by Carolyn Dowie and Shelagh Martell, with kind permission of the authors.

Pea and mint soup

A classic soup for spring! This recipe uses frozen peas so there’s no need to wait for fresh peas to come into season.

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 1 potato, chopped (no need to peel)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 250g frozen peas
  • a handful of mint, roughly chopped
  • a pinch of sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • crème fraîche to garnish

PUT the spring onions, potato, garlic and vegetable stock into a large saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the frozen peas and simmer for 5 minutes more.

STIR in the mint, sugar and lemon juice.

WHIZZ until smooth.

GARNISH with a dollop of crème fraîche and a small mint leaf to each bowl.

Cream of pea and asparagus soup

This soup is equally good served hot or cold.

Serves 8

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 500g frozen (or fresh) peas
  • 500g trimmed asparagus, finely sliced
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp chives, finely chopped

HEAT the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

ADD the stock and bring to the boil.

ADD the peas, and as soon as they come to the boil add the asparagus and 2 tbsp of the chives.

RETURN to the simmer, cover and cook for 20 mins until very soft. Liquidise then strain.

STIR in 100ml of the double cream and adjust the seasoning to taste.

EITHER reheat or chill until needed.

MIX the remaining chives into the remaining cream and swirl into each bowl of soup as a garnish.

Watercress soup

  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 600ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 x 85 bags prepared watercress
  • 150ml milk
  • a good grinding of nutmeg
  • crème fraîche, to serve

PLACE the spring onions (you can include quite a lot of the green tops), potatoes and stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, then add the watercress, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.

SIMMER for a couple of minutes until the watercress is wilted. Season well.

ALLOW to cool slightly then whizz until smooth. Return to the pan, add the milk and nutmeg. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Reheat until hot through.

SERVE in warmed bowls garnished with a little crème fraîche and a sprig of watercress.