Spring Pea Soup with Leeks and Lentils

I love peas, but pea soup has always scared me. Maybe it’s the funky color, or the strange smell. Maybe it’s both. This pea soup however, is a far cry from that strange canned stuff. It’s fresh, vibrant and flavorful.

Spring Pea Soup with Leeks and Lentils I’m known around our household for making soup when the weather heats up. Because nothing says spring and summer like soup, right? ;) This time though (a few weeks ago) we had a little cold spell here in Utah, so something warm and cozy seemed fitting. What I love about this soup is how quick and easy it is to make. It’s kind of a “clean out your fridge/freezer soup.” Toss in a bag of frozen peas, slice up some leeks, add leftover lentils, and use up the rest of that onion and heavy cream from the other night.

Spring Pea Soup with Leeks and Lentils To start, place a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat and cook the leeks in the butter along with the salt and peppers. You’ll want them to turn translucent and become fragrant. Next add the garlic, then pour in the chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the peas. I like the peas to be extra tender so that I don’t have to strain the skins out. Usually this takes about 5 minutes. Once the peas are tender, add the cooked lentils and continue cooking for 1 additional minute.

Remove the soup from the heat and pour into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. There will still be chunks of pea and lentil, but I like my soup to have texture. If you like silky, smooth soup, pour through a sieve to remove any chunks. Return the soup back to the pot and add in the heavy cream. Stir until incorporated.

Spring Pea Soup with Leeks and Lentils The soup will become lighter once you add the cream, but it’s still such a lovely green. Garnish if desired and serve immediately alongside a hot sandwich, a crisp salad or warm slice of buttered baguette. This soup has quickly become a favorite of ours. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

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Spring Pea Soup with Leeks and Lentils
 
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This fresh and vibrant spring pea soup with leeks and lentils is flavorful and easy to make. It's perfect for a week night dinner or for a special occasion!
Author:
Yield: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 c. chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (16 oz) package frozen peas
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. French green lentils, cooked*
Directions
  1. Place a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter, once melted toss in the chopped leek. Season with salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add in the peas.
  2. Simmer on medium for approximately 5 minutes or until the peas are tender. Add the cooked lentils and simmer for an additional minute.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat and pour into a blender (an immersion blender can be used too). Puree the mixture until smooth. If you want the texture of your soup to be silky, pour the soup through a mesh sieve to remove any chunks.
  4. Return the soup to the pot, add in the cream and mix until incorporated. Garnish with additional peas, croutons or a dollop of crème fraîche.
Notes
*Any kind of lentil will do, I happened to have French green lentils in my pantry.
-The heavy cream can be substituted for whole milk for a lighter version.

Recipe source: adapted from Kelsey Nixon, Kitchen Confidence