Green Pea Soup with Spinach

This lovely green soup was invented by the wife of a seventeenth-century British member of parliament, and it has stood the test of time. All you need is:

  • generous 3 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bacon slices, finely diced
  • 1 1/4 quarts ham or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded white cabbage
  • 1/2  small lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • a large handful of parsley, minced
  • 1/2 carton cress
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
  • a pinch of ground mace
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Put the peas, leek, garlic, and bacon in a large saucepan. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

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  • About 5 minutes before the pea mixture is ready, heat the oil in another large saucepan.
  • Add the spinach, cabbage,  lettuce, celery and herbs to the skillet. Cover and sweat over low heat until soft.
  • Transfer the pea mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Add to the sweated vegetables and herbs and heat through. Season with mace, salt and pepper and serve.

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