Sweet pea soup with cumin-mint coulis

Sweet Pea Soup with Cumin-Mint Coulis

Sweet peas are some of the vegetable kingdom’s greatest little gifts. They’re perfectly sized, vibrant and sweet – and they possess an irresistible “green” flavor. Come spring, they’re also one of the first veggies to show up at farmers’ markets or bearing fruit in your garden.

I love to eat sweet peas in many different ways: sautéed with basil and mint, or in a wholesome-yet-delicious bowl of farro, or sometimes even in a salad. But today I’m excited to share a recipe with you that I think makes the sweet pea even more enticing.

Not only is this soup full of that addictive green-pea essence, it’s also a perfect canvas for the exotic flavors of the coulis. The pan-roasted cumin, the fresh herbs and the hint of heat in the coulis, paired with the sweetness of the peas, deliver a truly unique taste experience.

Needless to say, the soup is superb with fresh peas, but you can use frozen ones too. They work just as well.

Food & wine pairing: France, Viogner with sweet pea soup

White wine iconA full-bodied, aromatic white wine is what this dish calls for. Try a Viognier from the South of France or a Vouvray from Sancerre.



Sweet peas in white bowl

Sweet pea soup with cumin-mint coulis

serves 4
active time: 30 min

For the cumin-mint coulis

  1. 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  2. 2 teaspoons sea salt for blanching the mint
  3. 1 small bunch fresh mint (2 oz) (55 g) – leaves removed from stalks
  4. 8 cilantro sprigs – tough stems trimmed
  5. 1 teaspoon lime juice
  6. 1 garlic clove – skinned and halved
  7. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  9. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the soup

  1. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 Vidalia onion – skinned and cut in 1/8″ pieces
  3. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  4. 1 cup dry white wine
  5. 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) fresh or frozen shelled peas (if using frozen peas, do not defreeze)
  6. 2 cups vegetable stock
  7. 2 1/2 to 3 cups spring water
  8. 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  9. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  10. 1 tablespoon crème fraîche

  1. Step 1:camera icon Heat a small heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they turn deep golden and are fragrant — about 2 minutes — shaking the pan constantly and taking care not to burn the spice. Transfer to a mortar and grind until coarsely ground.
  2. Step 2:camera icon Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes.
  3. Step 3: Bring 8 cups of water to a fast boil. Add the salt and mint leaves and blanch for 10 seconds only. Immediately remove from boiling water and place in ice water bath. Once cooled, drain and squeeze leaves as dry as possible and lay on a paper towel.
  4. Step 4: Coarsely chop the mint with scissors. Place mint, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process at high speed until very finely chopped and smooth.
  5. Cook’s note: The coulis can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  6. Step 5:camera icon To make the soup – Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot at medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden, stirring only from time to time. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until the garlic has released its flavor, but doesn’t brown. Add the wine and continue to sauté for 4 minutes, until the wine has completely evaporated and the onions look glossy. Add the peas, stock, 2 1/2 cups of water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to between medium and medium-low, cover the pot and simmer for 7 minutes until the peas are tender.
  7. Step 6:camera icon Purée the soup with a stick blender or food processor until soup is very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and additional water to the desired consistency and purée a few more seconds until well incorporated. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  8. Step 7:camera icon Ladle the soup in soup bowls. Place a spoonful of the cumin-mint coulis off center and draw a skewer through the coulis several times to create a spiky pattern (as shown in the photo above). Serve immediately.
  9. Cook’s note: The soup can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, but it is best eaten as soon as it’s made. It will lose its vibrant green color the longer it stands.

Sweet Pea Soup with Cumin-Mint Coulis

soup, peas, mint

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24 Comments

  • Reply torviewtoronto and createwithmom June 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    soup looks fabulous

  • Reply RecipeNewZ June 26, 2012 at 3:08 am

    This soup looks amazing! I think I have some frozen peas in the depths of my freezer. I have to dig them out :-). Beautiful shots too! I am very glad I found your site.
    Also, now that I’m here, I would like to invite you to check out a new recipe sharing website, RecipeNewZ.com. We accept photos of recipes and publish them within minutes of submission with links back to the authors’ sites. Try it! We already have hundreds of bloggers on board, and it would be a pleasure to see your recipes too :-)

    • Reply Viviane June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you so much… Just signed on to your site and will post my recipes there for sure!

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes June 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I must try cumin mint coulis … really fascinating.

  • Reply DB-The Foodie Stuntman June 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  • Reply Swathi June 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I like cumin, crazy about that spice, without it I can’t make any sides for me. Awesome combo of cumin and peas that too in soup.

    • Reply Viviane June 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Thank you Swathi… I’m crazy in love with cumin too! Have to restrict myself for not using it in all my recipes – Oy!

  • Reply lisaiscooking June 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Love this mix of flavors! The coulis is gorgeous, and I’m thinking that would be fabulous on top of lots of soups.

    • Reply Viviane June 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Thank you Lisa! You’re right about the coulis. It would go with many soups… and many other dishes to boot.

  • Reply Anita at Hungry Couple June 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I love that you added the seasoning here. Peas are sweet and delicious but pair so well with spices!

    • Reply Viviane June 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Anita… I’m with you. I love the contrast of the sweetness of the peas and the pungency of the spices.

  • Reply Liz June 2, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Oh, yum…sweet peas sound like a fantastic base for a spring soup. And your coulis is just spectacular swirled on top!! Have a wonderful weekend~

    • Reply Viviane June 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Thank you Liz! Have a beautiful (and delicious!) weekend too.

  • Reply Sandra's Easy Cooking June 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    We love pea soup but never tried with cumin or mint. Soup sounds very tasty, but with your presentation with little more deep green in the middle I am convinced that I have to try this soon! Thank you, Viviane for sharing this with us, and have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply Choc Chip Uru June 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I have never tried a pea soup but yours looks too good to pass up :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  • Reply Suzi May 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Viviane, peas have never been a favorite of mine but I do keep trying to acquire a taste for them. Maybe this Cumin-Mint Coulis would do the trick, plus the cilantro that I adore.

    • Reply Viviane May 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Suzi! I would love for this soup to make you a pea convert :-)

  • Reply Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) May 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    beautiful and creative soup! sounds delicious :)

    • Reply Viviane May 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you Jen and Seth!

  • Reply Tina@flourtrader May 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I have to admit I have never had this kind of soup before. However, between the picture and your awesome third paragraph description, I am determined to make a change in that. Delicious blend of flavors and seasoning here-yum!

    • Reply Viviane May 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you Tina! Do let me know how it turns out if you end up making it… Happy soup making!

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