Green and Spring Go Well Together — Du Vert au printemps pour mariage heureux

pea soup green fennel mint

Fennel, Pea and Mint Soup

April is a teaser. Let me say it once more, to feel better. A real one. A month when we think that we are safe to believe that we have officially entered a new season, encouraging us to take all the steps going in that direction — swap wardrobe as one, plant flowers and seeds as two, clean the windows as three — until we are proven the opposite. Looking outside my window, I can hear this morning’s ice pellets turn into heavy rain. It is uncomfortably wet and cold outside.

After three weeks spent wearing skirts and shorts, feeling the warm summer breeze on my barren light legs, I find it cruel to think that Spring is just too shy to permanently settle in. One day I think it has arrived and I fret, all excited, but the next day it withdraws, taking us to square one, with weather factors like cold, wind, rain or even snow. I usually like cold, rain and snow. Yes I do. But not in Spring. Wrong season. In Winter.

The excitement of the new season, however, is not necessarily only tied to my eagerness to keep my shorts and skirts out but in fact, to find and cook wonderfully tempting Spring Vegetables and Fruit. I cannot wait, really. So much so that I have decided that, even if not yet largely available in stores locally — or certainly not where I live — I would use des petits pois, green peas, into a Pea Spring Soup. Because Green is a color I love, reminding me of trees, fields, freshness, le bonheur est dans le pré (happiness in the countryside), every one of which making me happy.

In this simple recipe, I have combined fennel, celery branch, potato, shallot, garlic with chicken stock which are gently simmered until all the vegetables are tender. The addition of the lightly whipped cream flavored with horseradish is a must, and the mint a refreshing touch to the end result.

Now, I will ask you, do you think that this will be a good reason for Spring to stay with us? If we say please?

Pea, Fennel and Mint Spring Soup

You need:

  • 2 cups peas, cleaned and shelled (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • Mint, fresh
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  • Chop the shallot and garlic thinly. Chop the celery branch. Chop the fennel bulb thinly.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a thick-bottom pot and when melted, add the shallot, garlic, celery branch and fennel. Cook for 5 min until softer, on low to medium heat.
  • Then add the sliced potato and continue to cook for a few min. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 min, until the potatoes and fennel are soft.
  • Then add the peas and cook for only a few min, to help keep their green.
  • Mix the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Check the consistency and add more broth if necessary.
  • Strain the soup in a chinois to have a smooth consistency.
  • Whip the cold cream (not too firm) with 1 tsp horseradish, salt and pepper.
  • Take glasses and pour some some soup in each. Top with cream and chopped mint. Serve immediately.
Le coin français
Soupe printanière aux petits pois, fenouil et menthe

Ingrédients :

  • 300 g de petits pois nettoyés (frais ou congelés)
  • 1 bulbe de fenouil
  • 1 branche de céleri
  • 1 grosse pomme de terre (environ 180 g)
  • 1 échalote
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 500 ml de bouillon de volaille
  • 30 g de beurre
  • 80 ml de crème liquide froide
  • 1 càc de raifort
  • Menthe fraîche
  • Sel et poivre

Étapes :

  • Hachez l’échalote et la gousse d’ail finement. Hachez le céleri et la bulbe de fenouil finement.
  • Faites fondre 30 g de beurre dans une cocotte à fond épais et ajoutez l’échalote, l’ail, le céleri et le fenouil. Faites suer pendant environ 5 minutes sur feu doux à moyen.
  • Ajoutez la pomme de terre coupée en tranches et poursuivez la cuisson pendant quelques minutes. Puis, ajoutez le bouillon de volaille, couvrez et faites mijoter pendant 15 min jusqu’à ce que la pomme de terre et le fenouil soient tendres.
  • Ajoutez les petits pois et poursuivez la cuisson pendant juste 2 à 3 min, pour qu’ils gardent leur belle couleur verte.
  • Mixez la soupe dans un robot et asaisonnez de sel et de poivre. Vérifiez la texture et ajoutez du bouillon si nécessaire.
  • Passez la soupe au chinois pour obtenir une consitance crémeuse et lisse.
  • Battez la crème froide en chantilly (pas trop ferme) avec 1 càs de raifort, du sel et du poivre.
  • Versez la soupe dans des verres et ajoutez la crème, et de la menthe hachée. Servez de suite.
Posted in Appetizers, Gluten Free, Soup, Vegetarian | 33 Comments

33 comments

  1. Hi Bea!
    Your dish really does smell spring, it looks so refreshing & light!
    There IS a perfect reason why spring should be all year round I think :)

  2. Tu fais le plein de vitamines, a defaut de vrai printemps? Heureusement qu’on trouve des petits pois surgeles toute l’annee.

  3. Sounds fabulous. I love the addition of horseradish. I made a salad last week with frisee and radish sprouts, fennel sprouts and pea shoots. Talk about the embodiment of spring. It’s snowing here, by the way. :(

  4. Bonjour Béa – I couldn’t agree with you more on the fickleness of Spring… If your beautiful soup doesn’t turn the tide, I don’t think anything will!

  5. This looks beautiful – it would work on me if I was spring! I hope it does work (I’m dying to get my summer wardrobe out) but at least there is the horseradish to give us a warm glow if the plans fails!

  6. What an unusual combination — fennel, horseradish, mint! The color is absolutely seductive and, even though it’s snowing a bit right now, just looking at this soup makes me feel like spring is imminent.

  7. Très tentante ta soupe. Moi, j’ai de la chance, le soleil est là et je l’implore de rester!

  8. Spring is VRAIMENT a teaser, Bea! Here in Toronto we have snow with below zero temperatures … but if I had this soup I know I would feel better. Thanks for bringing some spring to my computer!

  9. Tiens, petit pois et fenouil, envie de printemps et de verdure, on était sur la même longueur d’ondes aujourd’hui !
    Et pour Gracianne : il y a déjà la première récolte de petits-pois frais. Heureusement, c’est réconfortant ^_________^

  10. À Montréal, l’hiver est revenu l’instant de quelques jours! Tempêtes de neige, vent et froid… Ta soupe ensoleille mon écran! C’est un très beau mariage de saveurs!

  11. Horseradish and fennel, fennel and mint, I can understand. But horseradish and mint completely blows my mind. I can’t wait to try this.

  12. Unusual combination. But it does look and sound very very good! I love anything green!

  13. I agree that April is unpredictable. This soup looks so vibrant and spring-y!

  14. Je rentre du marché avec des petits pois frais…donc aux casseroles !! tu dis éplucher le poireau??? en tous les cas la couleur est superbe ! bel apetizer pour le déjeuner pascal -MERCI

  15. Ooh, here’s one I really want to try! And I even have anything I will need in the fridge/pantry!

  16. There is nothing like spring green! This soup looks very much spring…you’d think it would keep spring from doing that cold and sleet thing, especially with please.
    The ingredients in your soup seem perfect together!

  17. I’m sorry to hear that the weather is bad, however, in Ontario it’s snowing right now. A lot. I prefer the rain over snow, but the universe isn’t bending to my wishes. The soup looks great and very Spring-y.

  18. Ha! Just spoke to my mom in RI who said they are expecting snow next week! At least your soup sings spring! Peas and mint are perfect together, and the addition of fennel is lovely. I can’t wait to try this one.

  19. I love your saying of cold in “wrong season”. But everytime when I see new bulbs on the tree right by my window, I’ll smile again… well, I have a heater under my feet, haha!
    Food in green all the way, always seize my heart, esp yours :D

  20. How I need some green. But imagine that the truck delivering asparagus to our local grocer’s had an accident and he will have no asparagus or fresh green veggies for Easter! I’ll have to make a trip into town…

  21. Thanks Valentina!

    Gracianne, oui tu as bien raison, une envie de se mettre au vert !

    Christine, I am totally a fan of horseradish, so don’t be surprised to see it more in my recipes. Luckily the weather changed in a nice way. I hope for you too!

    Sophie, oui ;-)

    Gilly, thank you!

    Leonine, thanks, once more.

    Alhya, j’espere que tu aimeras!

    Sophie, yes I am dying for spring to come for good, love this season, even over summer!

    Lydia, thank you. I hope you stay warm in RI.

    Ninette, ah oui, profites bien du soleil!

    Sandi, thank you.

    Ivonne, oh I hope the snow goes away ;-) The sun is finally back here.

    San, je file voir de ton cote.

    Ninnie, ah oui, vu qu’on est dans le meme secteur, pas etonnant. En esperant que ca va changer bien vite.

    Vicki, I hope you like it.

    Anh, For me too, green is a great color!

    Kat, yes it is, isn’t it?

    CAT, merci de ton message. J’ai fait la correction ;-)

    Mary, merci.

    Beah, merci encore.

    HoneyBee, very nice. I hope that you like it.

    Tanna, yes I am with you. Spring green is a great way to describe this color actually. I would not have thought about it.

    Jelena, ah my poor you. I hope the weather will change for you soon.

    Susan, I am not surprised actually. But keep fingers crossed, here in Boston it seems better. I can feel Spring in the air anyhow.

    Gattina, thanks my dear for the nice note.

    Mae, thank you! I am glad you like it!

    Bcinfrance, oh no, that is too funny , but not in a nice way! ;-) I hope you are able to get something.

  22. Bonjour, sympa cette petite recette ^^ miam miam^^

    Merci! Thanks!

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