When I was a girl, I spent time in the country with my great aunt and uncle.  This great aunt was one of the two sisters who helped raise my mother, so really she was more like a grandmother to me.  I called her Mimi. I called her husband Mackie, and he was one the the dearest people in the world to me.

One spring he decided that he and his little helper (me) would clear a small tract of overgrown land and plant a garden.  It was to be my first garden.  Mackie and I spent many days clearing the area and preparing the soil till it was just right.

Mackie (middle) looking very serious and ready to hoe!

I got to choose whatever I wanted to grow and I picked peas, one of my favorites.  I planted, weeded, watered and finally harvested a tiny crop of fresh peas. I remember sitting on the front porch and shelling them and pouring the little green jewels into a pan.

I think that it is one of the most beautiful things in the world to let a child have their own garden.  It is wonderful to see what you have tended grow, struggle and reach it’s potential.

Since peas have always been favorites of mine, I often think of them when my thoughts turn to spring.

I am looking forward to serving this soup to celebrate spring this Sunday.

Pea Soup with Mint

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or olive oil if you prefer
1 medium leek, white/light green part only, well cleaned and finely chopped
1 rib celery, from heart of the celery, sliced
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
4 cups chicken stock (I use organic, low sodium, or you could use homemade)
2 packages frozen peas, 10 ounces each
2/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Mint for garnish

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, melt butter and add the leeks and celery and cook until soft, but not brown. Add chicken stock and potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until peas are tender. Remove from heat.

Add the mint, salt and pepper. If you prefer a richer soup, add cream.

Puree the soup in blender in small batches about a cup at a time and puree until smooth.
Garnish with mint.

This soup can be served hot or cold.

Enjoy!