Pea and mint soup

This soup tastes of springtime – peas and mint are a perfect marriage. It is pale and creamy in colour, with just the odd pea dotted here and there for texture and surprise. English peas are at their best right now – sweet and tender. Buy them still in their pods wherever possible.

500g/1lb peas, podded
200ml/7fl oz water
1 medium bunch of mint, leaves only
150ml/5fl oz double cream
A few drops of lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a pot of well-salted water on to boil. Once boiling, add the peas and cook for one minute. Drain but do not refresh with cold water. Set aside a third of the peas to add to the soup just before serving.

Once cooled, put the rest of the peas into a food processor and blend with the water and mint leaves. When smooth, pour into a bowl and stir in the cream, lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper.

Chill in the fridge and serve in chilled soup plates, scattering the remaining peas over the top. Serve with fresh, crusty bread and plenty of unsalted butter. Add a simple green salad and you have a light and perfect meal.

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