Fresh Pea Summer Soup

  • Dried peas were part of a staple diet in the Middle Ages in Europe.
  • Eating fresh and immature green peas was a more modern delicacy.
  • This soup could have only been made summer and the peas would have had to be shelled.
  • The invention of fast freezing by Clarence Birdseye, an American, in the 1920s revolutionised the way we eat foods out of season, most notably green peas.
  • In the past the vegetables would have had to be pressed several times through clothes or sieves – nowadays we have stick blenders and similar electrical cooking tools to make this easier.


  • 100 -150g shelled or frozen peas
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • ½ a large lettuce
  • 50g butter
  • 1-2 lovage or celery leaves
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped chives or flat-leafed parsley to garnish


  • Chop white and green parts of the spring onions in small rings.
  • Gently fry in butter to soften but not to brown them.
  • Cut the lettuce into thin strands.
  • Add the lettuce and the peas to the spring onions and mix.
  • Add the lovage or celery leaves and the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for up to 10 minutes until the peas are cooked.
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool a little (for safety).
  • Blend the soup until you have a thick purée.
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • Stir in the soured cream and serve.
  • Add a dollop of soured cream to each serving.
  • Garnish each dish with chopped chives, flat-leafed parsley to garnish.


Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 -1998