Spring Lettuce, Pea and Mint Soup

31 Mar

I see these beautiful lettuces every day and take photos of them because I love the neat and tidy rows and the way they kind of look like big green roses. Sort of…

I wanted a recipe using lettuces for something other than a salad to test their versatility. I’ve heard of lettuce soup but never tried it so I had no idea how it would taste. It seems an odd thing, to cook a lettuce but together with the peas and fresh mint it makes a really fresh springy soup perfect for this time of year when the weather really can’t make up it’s mind.

It has the lightness of a salad but with the warmth of a soup.  The spring fresh flavours are a taster of what’s just around the corner if you are suffering with the weather where you are. This soup really brightens your day, and it’s healthy too.

Cos (or Romaine) lettuce contains more beta carotene and iron than most other lettuces and peas are rich in fibre, iron & vitamin C. Add to that the fact that mint is an excellent aid to digestion and you have the perfect meal in a bowl.

 And it tastes great too…

Lettuce, Pea & Mint Soup

serves 4 – 6, vegetarian or vegan, without yoghurt swirl

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 leek, sliced in half lengthways, rinsed & sliced finely
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small Cos/Romaine lettuce, cored & shredded
  • 45o gr frozen peas
  • 750 ml + veg stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh mint leaves, chopped. Keep the stalks.
  • a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • creme fraiche or greek yoghurt for swirling (optional)
  • mint tops for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Sweat leeks & shallot for 3 or 4 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add in the peas, lettuce, mint stalks (tied together in a knot so they are easier to fish out later), 750 ml veg stock, salt, pepper & sugar.

Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered for 6 -8 minutes or until the peas are tender. Take out the mint stalks, add in the parsley and mint leaves and remove from the heat.

Blend carefully with a stick blender for 2 or 3 minutes until very smooth. Add more veg stock to get required consistency if necessary, check the seasoning and reheat to serve. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with a swirl of creme fraiche and the mint tops.

If Spring is not happening where you are then bring it yourself with this bowl of soup. I’ll leave you with some more images of the beautiful Spring in Andalucia that I have taken this week while walking the dog….

Disfruta de la Naturaleza!!

9 Responses to “Spring Lettuce, Pea and Mint Soup”

  1. Lyndsey @ Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops March 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    This looks lovely – I am a huge fan of lettuce soup and always make it in spring/summer. Your photos are beautiful as well – lovely post!

  2. Anthony March 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    It is a good idea to add mint into your soup! Should try it this weekend!
    For more interesting recipes, check at:
    http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes
    Hope you find recipes that you like!

  3. Susan April 1, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    I have been on a real soup kick lately … this looks like a beautiful dose of Spring! I’ve never had lettuce soup and the only pea soup I’ve had was made with dried peas and a ham bone … your soup looks lighter and fresher!

    Your photos of flowers are most welcome today! New England is under a winter storm watch — supposedly 4 -7 inches of wet, heavy snow will fall tonight and into tomorrow … Mother Nature’s cruel April fool joke.

    Maybe we will skip Spring and go straight to summertime!

  4. happywhennothungry April 1, 2011 at 3:40 am #

    This soup looks so fresh and delicious! I love the pea and mint combo too. Your photos are so beautiful!!!

  5. Dani April 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    We always end up overloaded with lettuces in early spring (which won’t be for another month) and I’ve never tried making soup with it. I’ll have to remember this for when our time for lettuce arrives. Beautiful photos!

  6. this looks so fresh and healthy!

    and peas and mint? so unique!

    If you like, feel free to submit your healthy food photos to: http://www.healthfreakfood.com

  7. Carol Hood April 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Hi Natalie,your mum did a dinner party for us girlies last weekend and made your lettuce & pea soup.I make a few homemade soups but couldnt imagine one with lettuce,but have to say it’s absolutely gorgeous🙂 ..I will be making it soon myself.

    • foodblogandthedog April 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Hi Carol, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I’m still recovering from the shock of my Mum having a dinner party!! ;D

  8. Ange April 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Hi there — I made this soup tonight, and it was really delicious! I added a squeeze of lemon juice as well. Thank you for the recipe — I look forward to trying a few more.

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