Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Sweet pea soup with watercress and mint

Chef Sandy Sauter blends fresh sweet peas—at their peak in spring—with watercress and mint to make a silky, vibrantly green soup that's good hot or cold.

Chef Sandy Sauter
CIA at Copia, Napa

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2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
5 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
4 to 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups vegetable stock
3 cups frozen sweet peas
1 1/2 cups watercress, stems removed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, packed (save 1 leaf to chiffonade for garnish
1 tsp. lemon juice, or to taste
Lemon zest, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
Sugar snap peas, julienne, for garnish
Croutons, optional, for garnish (see note)


Slowly sweat onion and celery in butter to soften until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add scallions and sweat until fragrant. Stir in potatoes. Add vegetable stock and simmer, covered, until potatoes are soft. Stir in peas, watercress and mint leaves and return to a simmer to warm through, about 2 minutes. Add remaining seasonings to desired flavor. Puree with an immersion blender. Serve garnished with sugar snap peas, mint leaves and, if you wish, croutons.

Note: Use a rustic crusty bread to make croutons. Remove crusts, dice, put in a skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and some mint. Toss over heat until crunchy and golden.

Serves 4

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