Puréed Green Pea Soup is bright, light and fresh – in fact, it tastes just like spring! Unusual and impressive, the combination of fresh or frozen green peas, butter lettuce (yes, lettuce!), onion, bouillon, cream, and a bit of butter is divine. Served warm, this creamy pea soup is the perfect starter for an elegant spring lunch or dinner.
One of my favorite spring ingredients to cook with is fresh peas – English, snow, sugar snap, I appreciate them all. They are so light, fresh and full of sweet flavor! That’s why I immediately fell in love with this Puréed Green Pea Soup from family friend Simone Geens.
Simone Geens is a Belgian friend and gourmet cook. One of the many delicious dishes she made for me when I visited the Geens in Belgium was this wonderful creamy soup of fresh peas and butter lettuce. I had to have the recipe!
Well, Simone is one of those talented cooks who doesn’t follow a recipe. So, she rattled off a few ingredients and a rough idea of how she put it together. The rest she left up to me. Fortunately, it only took a few attempts to recreate that taste of spring that was in Simone’s luscious fresh pea soup!
I’m sure right now you’re probably thinking, “lettuce in soup? Really?” Well, it’s amazing how perfectly it works in this dish, especially using butter (a.k.a. Boston or bibb) lettuce. The lightness and mild flavor blends perfectly with the sweet green peas.
The peas and lettuce are cooked together in a beef (or chicken or vegetable) bouillon broth along with fresh onions, then all is puréed and finished with a pat of butter and half and half cream.
The best kind to use for this recipe are fresh English (or garden) peas. If can’t you find them, use shelled sugar snap peas – even frozen green peas will work. Please don’t use canned peas – they don’t have enough flavor or color for this dish.
Other green pea recipes to try
Here are a few more of my favorite green pea recipes:
- Green Pea, Basil and Mint Crostini
- Carrot, Radish and Sweet Pea Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
- Curried Pea Salad with Bacon and Cashews
- Elegant Wild Rice Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
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Puréed Green Pea Soup is bright, light and fresh – in fact, it tastes just like Spring! Unusual and impressive, the combination of fresh (or frozen) green peas, butter lettuce (yes, lettuce!), onion, bouillon, cream, and a bit of butter is divine. Served warm, this creamy soup is the perfect starter for an elegant spring lunch or dinner.
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions (around 1 medium)
- 2 cups fresh shelled green peas – see Note below for substitutions and more
- 1 cup chopped butter (Boston or bibb) lettuce (1 head)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons beef bouillon concentrate – see Note below
- 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
- 1/2 cup half and half (can also use whole milk)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish (or pea tendrils if you can find them)
- Spray a large sauté or sauce pan with nonstick spray. Add olive oil and heat over medium heat. When hot, add onions and cook until soft and starting to turn a light golden color.
- Add peas and stir to combine. Stir in lettuce and cook for 5 minutes. Add water and beef bouillon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the peas are very soft. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm (in the broth).
- Place mixture in a food processor or blender (may need to be done in 2 batches) and purée until finely mixed.
- Pour mixture back into same saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir in butter until melted. Add cream and heat just until hot. Season to taste with kosher salt. Serve immediately, garnishing with chopped chives (including flowers if available).
Note on green peas: For this recipe, you can use fresh shelled English (garden) peas or sugar snap peas. If you can’t find good fresh peas, you can also use 1 10-ounce package frozen – no need to thaw.
Note on beef bouillon: I like the Better Than Bouillon organic brand. You can substitute chicken or vegetable broth, but I think the beef version adds the most depth of flavor without overpowering the soup.
Make ahead: soup can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, covered and refrigerated. Reheat over medium-low heat.
Keywords: easy soups, starters, fresh peas