Pea, Bacon & Mint Soup

You say pea soup and I’m immediately transported back in time… I’m in my family kitchen, I’m a child, my mom is standing over one of her trusty AMC pots (pots which are now in my kitchen some 35 years on – talk about quality!), the radio is on and the aroma of pea soup is filling the air. Yummy, my favourite of all her soup recipes.

My mom’s version is actually split pea soup, made with dry split peas, and no-one will ever be able to make it quite like mom – well not in my eyes anyway! So when the craving for mom’s pea soup hit the other day, I decided to experiment with a different take on pea soup.

Feeling inspired by the recent sunny weather we had during our Cape Town winter, I felt like a lighter, fresher pea soup and so opted to use whole peas instead of split peas. I added some bacon because well, it’s bacon and any opportunity to add bacon to a recipe, I do – and then a sprinkle of mint to heighten the lightness and freshness of the soup.

The result? Quick, easy and tasty! Suitable for a deliciously healthy light lunch or dinner starter. The beautiful green is so vibrant that it brings colour to any dining table, while conjuring up feelings of excitement and anticipation that Spring is finally, once again, knocking at our door.

Ingredients

  • 500ml peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 250g streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 1 litre chicken or veggie Stock (I use the organic liquid stock from Woolies)
  • a handful of mint, finely chopped

Cook’s note: In the interest of saving time, frozen peas are perfect for this too. If you don’t have cream at hand, drizzle with a dash of olive oil instead. The soup can thicken on refrigeration, if this happens just add a little stock or boiling water when reheating to achieve the preferred consistency.

Method

  1. Fry the bacon for 5 or so minutes until crisp (keep some aside for garnish), add the potato and stock and cook until the potato is soft, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Add the peas and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, season with salt & pepper and stir in the mint.
  4. Use a food processor or hand blender to puree.
  5. Pour into serving dishes and garnish with a drizzle of fresh cream and a sprinkle of crispy bacon.

Love This Recipe?

Another light soup for the warmer seasons: spinach and ricotta gnudi with chicken and herb broth.