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
- 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.