Lettuce and Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Traditionally, lettuce soup is the preserve of gardeners; a lovely summer soup made with bolted lettuce leaves. It’s usually thickened and improved by peas, sometimes potatoes too and young onions. This particular version was prompted by bad shopping, too many packs of lettuce stacking up in the fridge and petits pois a-plenty in the freezer. It’s a delicate soup and surprisingly creamy, its pale colour flecked with dark green from mint. It is enhanced and lifted by a crumble of feta.

Serves 4

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min

400g Little Gem or other lettuce

bunch spring onions

25g butter

200g petits pois

600ml light chicken stock

about 25 mint leaves

squeeze of lemon

100g Greek feta

     Shred, rinse and drain the lettuce. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, including as much of the dark green as possible. Melt the butter in a decent-sized pan and stir in the onion with a pinch salt. Cook gently, stirring often until wilted. Add the peas and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes and then stir in the lettuce – it will seem an impossible amount but keep stirring for a couple of minutes until most has wilted. Don’t go at it for too long as it will turn to an unattractive mush. Liquidize thoroughly – peas take a bit of breaking down with the mint. Reheat adjusting the season with salt and lemon. Serve with a crumble of feta.