Pea Soup with Leeks, Mint and Creme Fraiche

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home

Saveur Magazine recently published a “chef’s edition” in which chefs from around the world were asked for their inspirations, ideas, tricks, favorite products and ingredients. My favorite entry was #21, from Fergus Henderson of St. JOHN Bar and Restaurant in London: “A wise old chef once told me: Wait till peas are in season, then use frozen.” Well, peas are not in season just yet but this soup is fabulous year round thanks to frozen.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chopped leeks, white and green parts (about 2 cups)
  • ½ medium chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 5 cups frozen peas
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • ½ cup chopped fresh chives
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add leeks and onion and cook over medium low until the onion is tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Add the frozen peas and cook for 3 minutes. Off the heat, add the mint, salt and pepper.
  • Puree the soup with either a stick blender, or cool and puree in a blender. Whisk in crème fraiche and chives. Serve warm or cold.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. This soup is terrific with farm fresh peas and if they are in season and you don’t mind shelling them (you’ll need about 4 pound unshelled), use them. Frozen peas work just as nicely without the work! Use 2 10-oz packages of frozen peas and you should get about 5 cups.
  • 2. You can easily make this soup vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock. If you want to make it vegan, just skip the crème fraiche.
  • 3. We typically eat this soup warm, but it’s also delicious cold in the summer.
  • 4. This soup is also a great make-ahead dish and the flavors are even better on the second day. Just warm it over low heat before serving, or serve cold.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

2 responses to “Pea Soup with Leeks, Mint and Creme Fraiche”

  1. Miranda says:

    Does this soup freeze well? Maybe without the creme fraiche?

    • Alicia says:

      I’ve never tried to freeze it, but I’ve frozen similar vegetable soups including the milk products and they’ve done very well. I have a tomato soup recipe that’s very similar – chicken stock, vegetables, a little half and half – and it freezes beautifully. Go ahead and try it out creme fraiche and all!

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