This soup is so very good on a chilly spring afternoon. The flavors of lemon combined with fresh mint make the soup taste bright and snappy, and then the savory broth is there to warm the soul.
I was thwarted in my attempts to procure actual spring peas this past week owing to a late-arrival at the farmer's market (let's just say that someone hit snooze a few too many times). I was still craving this soup something fierce, so I settled for second best: frozen peas. This is definitely a fantastic recipe to showcase fresh spring peas, but hey, you won't hear a peep from me if you choose to go the frozen route. Also good are edamame, lima beans, and cannellini beans when fresh peas aren't available.
If you already have some leftover rice on-hand, this soup comes together in a snap. You basically just heat up the broth and add everything else in at the last minute. Even if you don't have rice, the hands on time is very minimal.
Taste this one as you go. I absolutely love a strong lemony flavor with a companion note of sweet mint, but this might not be for everyone. Try adding half the amount first, then give it a taste. If you like what your tongue is telling you, add a little more.
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 lemons, zested and juiced (you should have about 1/2 cup of juice)
3 tablespoons of mint, divided
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until the onions have softened and are on the verge of turning brown.
Pour in the stock and the water and bring to a gentle boil. Add half of the lemon juice, the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of mint, and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir. Stir in the cooked rice and peas, and let the soup come back to a gentle simmer.
Give the soup a taste. If you'd like a little more lemon or mint, add a little more in. (Personally, I go for the full amount of both.) When you're happy with what you taste, take the soup off the heat and serve it up.
Leftovers will keep refrigerated for several days.
(Images: Emma Christensen)