Pea and mint soup
You will need
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
850ml vegetable or chicken stock
900g young peas in the pod (to give about 250g/9oz shelled peas)
4 tbsps chopped fresh mint
Large pinch caster sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
Put the spring onions into a large pan with the potato, garlic and stock.
Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potato is very soft. For the garnish, blanch three tablespoons of the shelled peas in boiling water for two to three minutes, drain, put in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
Add the remaining peas to the soup base and simmer for five minutes -- no longer or you will lose the lovely fresh flavour of the peas.
Stir the mint, sugar and lemon or lime juice into the soup. Cool slightly, then pour it into a food processor or liquidiser and whizz until the soup is as smooth as you like.
Stir in the cream, taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve the soup cold, cool quickly then chill -- you may need to add more stock to the soup before serving as it will thicken as it cools. To serve hot, return the soup to boil.
Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with the blanched peas, drained, plus a sprig of fresh mint and some crusty bread.