Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil, plus extra to trickle

20g butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped

1 litre vegetable stock (use a vegetable or chicken stock cube)

500g fresh shelled peas, or frozen peas

20g flat-leaf parsly, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

A few mint leaves, shredded, to finish (optional)


Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and sweat the onion with the thyme until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock, peas (reserving a handful to finish the soup if you like) and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the peas are very tender.

Cool slightly, then puree the soup in a food processor or blender, or with a stick blender, until very smooth – you may need to do this in two batches if you are using a processor or free-standing blender.  Return the soup to the pan, adjust the seasoning and heat through.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls.  If you have some fresh, raw peas, scatter a few on top (or you could use blanched frozen peas).  Add the mint, if using, trickle over a little olive or rapeseed oil and serve.

Alternatively, you can let the soup go cold, then chill it lightly before serving, add the scattering of peas and mint, if using, and trickle of oil at the last minute.

From: River Cottage Veg, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall