In the summer months, our bodies gravitate toward cool, refreshing foods that require little to no use of the kitchen stove. This simple summer soup highlights seasonal shell peas (frozen peas can work here too) and garners a refreshing pep from mint and zesty yogurt. A dash of sweet white balsamic vinegar melds this flavorful soup together, and a simple pinch of microgreens adds the loveliest bit of texture and pizazz.
Although often times ignored or cast off to the further most region of a plate, peas are loaded with beneficial nutrients and can add great flavor and texture when utilized correctly. Peas are part of the legume family whose siblings include beans, peanuts, and lentils. Peas contain plant-based protein - great for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet or who want to live a more plant-forward lifestyle. These green hued orbs are also rich in immune boosting Vitamin C and fiber. Peas also contain Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin linked to optimal bone health and blood clotting. In order for fat-soluble vitamins to be adequately absorbed, they need to be in the presence of a fat. Coconut oil/avocado oil and 2% yogurt provide the beneficial fat vehicle which allows for optimal nutrient utilization.
pea and mint soup
- 2 tbsps coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 small leek, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 5 cups freshly shelled or frozen peas
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- white balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup 2% or full fat yogurt (we prefer siggi's)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- juice of 1 lemon
- chives, minced
Warm coconut oil or avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 4 minutes. Add shallots and continue to cook for 2-4 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add peas and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes for fresh peas, 2 minutes for frozen.
Remove pot from heat. Add the mint and remaining 2 cups broth. Purée soup with an immersion blender or in a high-speed blender. If soup is too thick, add water or additional broth, and blend again until smooth. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve, if you prefer the soup warm. For a chilled version, allow soup to come to room temperature and refrigerate for at least an hour or until cool.
Whisk yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice together. Serve soup with a drizzle of white balsamic vinegar and topped with chives, microgreens, and a dollop of lemon yogurt.