This is a lovely light summer soup – a less gutsy version of its winter relative – Pea and Ham Soup.

I

t’s also a great way to use up a glut of lettuce as they start to bolt – or use the outer leaves and keep the pristine hearts for salads.

I thought I was being very clever this year and bought a tray of “living lettuce” from the supermarket early in the season before mine had been sown.  I decided to plant them out rather than just cutting off the leaves.  They were rather weedy, straggly specimens which had been planted far too close together and forced under cover.  All of them rooted once teased apart and planted out.  Now I have lettuces at every turn…

IMG_3743 lettuce2IMG_3746 leaves

You will need

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green lettuce – or equivalent in loose leaves
  • 500g frozen peas
  • 750ml light stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • large sprig chopped mint
  • salt and pepper
  • edible flowers

Method
Gently fry the onion in the butter in a large saucepan until the onion is soft and translucent but not golden.

Shred the lettuce and add to the pan with the peas.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the peas are tender.  The lettuce will start to look very unappetising: don’t panic!  Add the mint and allow to cool a little before liquidising.

Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with some edible flowers such as viola, borage or chive flowers for a lovely summer starter.