Friday, June 14, 2013

Mint Pea Soup

This recipe originated from BonAppetit.  Peas with mint are a traditional combination, but this soup takes it to a whole new delectable level!  Vibrant spring green soup with mint and parsley made it perfect for lunch on the deck.  On May 17, I posted Quick Chilled Pea Soup that also had mint with peas, but additionally it included spinach and garlic.  Both soups are great, with this one being a bit more sweet.

My Lebanese mint is finally making a breakthrough in the herb garden.  It was given to me by a friend who received it from a relative in Lebanon. She warned me that, like all mints, it is highly invasive, so I planted it in a pot in the herb garden to keep from spreading too much.  

Lebanese Mint
And the chive plants just keep getting bigger and more abundant in the herb garden. The parsley is in a pot with cilantro and dill on the deck and all are thriving well in the finally warm weather of Duluth!

Chives on June 11

Of course, I needed to make some modifications to the original recipe to meet my needs.  I used coconut oil rather than butter and I used non-fat Greek Fage yogurt rather than the sour cream and heavy cream that the original recipe mixed together and swirled into the soup.

On a side-note, at one of my medical appointments this week, I had more lab work done, including LDL levels. LDL is the "bad cholesterol", and the optimal level is below 100.   Since I started using coconut oil about 4 years ago, my LDL has consistently been coming down.  This time it was 85!  Pzazz Hurray for coconut oil!  

2 Tablespoons coconut oil 
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
6 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 6 pounds pods) or frozen peas, thawed (I used 6 cups frozen peas)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground pepper  

1/4 non-fat Greek Fage
Chopped fresh chives 

Melt oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, about 5 minutes for fresh peas, about 2 minutes for frozen.

Remove pot from heat. Add parsley, mint, and remaining 2 cups broth to pot. Purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, thinning with water if soup is too thick, until smooth. Season soup with salt and pepper. (I didn't add any additional salt, as I thought it was fine without it.) 

Serve warm soup topped with chives mixed with Greek yogurt. I had the soup cold for lunch one day this week and it was just as delicious!                                       

Nutrition per serving:                        
Servings per recipe: 6
Chives on May 16
Serving Size: generous 1 cup  
Calories:  173
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0  mg
Sodium:  213 mg
Total Carbs: 22 g
Dietary Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 10 g

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