Chilled pea, mint & bacon soup

Soup, easy, quick, delicious, bacon, mint, garden, summer, summery, food, foodie, homecook, besthomecook, best home cook

This is a very refreshing soup using up ingredients in the kitchen. Perfect for hot weather dining!

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While I love soup served in a bowl with crusty bread and butter, I often like to serve it as a kind of canapé: chilled in shot glasses. That way, the soup goes a long way. It can also be made and assembled the day or so before: perfect for entertaining!

The bacon is added with the onions as they gently fry, imparting a lovely smoky flavour. For extra flavour you can keep the fat on the bacon but make sure it renders down into the onions. The bacon rashers later get removed and is scattered on top for serving. If you prefer, you could use Chorizo or cooked ham.

Once the soup is blitzed in a food processor, I prefer to pass it through a sieve to give a very smooth soup. You can omit the sieving if you wish, though. However, the strained pea “remains” do not get wasted in this house: I tend to mix them with chopped onions, garlic, egg and a little flour and fry them off as little patties.

Recipe: chilled pea, mint & chorizo soup

Serves: 4 as a starter; 8-10 if serving as canapés

  • 1kg bag frozen peas (the inexpensive supermarket variety is ideal)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh mint (leaves and stalks)
  • 500ml water (or a mix of water and milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 rashers smoked bacon (excess fat removed)
  • a little smoked paprika or cayenne for dusting over
  • salt to taste

(1) Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions and bacon. Cook gently for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time and trying not to get too much colour on the onions (a light golden-brown at most).

(2) Add the water the mint stalks and most of the mint leaves and bring to the boil. Put the lid on and simmer for about 20 minutes.

(3) Remove from the heat and discard the mint stalks. Remove the bacon and set aside: you can crisp it up in a pan if you wish or keep it as it is, ready to be chopped up and added when serving.

(4) Blitz the soup in a food processor with the remaining mint leaves (or use a stick blender) before passing through a sieve, pressing very well to extract as much of that precious flavour as you can. Taste and add a little salt if you feel it needs it.

(5) Let the soup cool down before putting it into the fridge until you are ready to serve. To serve, pour the soup into small cups, bowls or shot glasses, scatter over the chopped bacon and a light dusting of cayenne.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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