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Fennel, pea and mint soup

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) fennel, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh or frozen peas
  • 900 ml (1 pint 12 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper
  • To garnish: a few small lettuce leaves, such as oak-leaf lettuce, and a few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as chervil and mint
  • Place the fennel, peas and stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the fennel is tender.
  • Add the chopped mint and simmer for a further 1 minute.
  • Reserve a cupful of the vegetables and purée the remaining mixture in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer. Scrape the purée back into the pan.
  • Return the reserved vegetables to the soup and reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper then serve, garnished with the lettuce leaves and herbs.