Spicy pea soup with mint and cilantro recipe

Published July 15, 2010 9:16PM (EDT)


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small serrano chili, minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 loosely packed cup cilantro leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot, add the onions and cook over low heat until softened and just starting to color. Add garlic, ginger and chili, and cook 2 minutes more. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add peas and cook until they start to soften. Squeeze excess water from the thawed spinach, add the spinach to the pot, and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mint and cilantro and cook until they soften, about another 3 minutes.
  2. When all the vegetables are tender, remove them from the pot and reserve the liquid. Puree the solids in a food processor or blender, add 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and continue to blend until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Return the mixture to a clean pot and add the cream (and fish sauce, if desired). If the mixture is too thick for your taste, add more of the reserved cooking liquid to thin it to your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook the soup over medium-low heat until heated through. Serve immediately. Garnish with a swirl of cream on top and enjoy, grudgingly or not.

By Felicia Lee

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