An elegant and delicate French soup of green peas, leeks, lettuce, and mint, Potage Saint-Germain is traditionally enjoyed in the spring, when fresh green peas are in season. I stumbled upon one lone packet of shelled peas while marketing for Thanksgiving produce. Among the rutabagas, yams, and green beans, they looked like foundlings in need of a good home. So I adopted them. Days after the feast, they provided the perfect remedy for a jaded appetite, a jade-colored purée of simplicity and good taste. I felt renewed. It felt like Easter.
Autumn Potage Saint-Germain - Loosely based on the Epicurious recipe
Makes 2 to 3 servings.
2 large leeks (white and green parts), trimmed of roots and coarse leaves
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2 generous cups fresh or frozen green peas, rinsed
1 heart of romaine lettuce, stemmed and chopped, including unbruised outer dark green leaves
3 cups vegetable stock (I used mushroom)
1/2 cup milk or cream, any fat content
Small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped (or if tiny, keep whole)
1 teapoon salt (omit if you've used well-salted stock).
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup cream, any fat content
A few reserved mint leaves
Slice leek stalks into coins and separate into rings. Soak rings in bowl of cold water for ten minutes, agitating occasionally. (N.B. - Leeks notoriously harbor sand in their very finely ribbed recesses. Special care must be taken to rid even the smallest particle, which will impart a nasty grit that will ruin the recipe.) Transfer rings into colander (sand will have sunken to bottom of bowl) and rinse under running water. Pat rings with toweling to remove excess water, then add them to a large saucepan where you have gently warmed the butter or oil over very low heat.
Sauté leeks until limp and golden, about 6 minutes. Add peas, lettuce, and stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover saucepan, allowing some steam to escape, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender, adding mint leaves. Purée until smooth. (Take care; it will be very hot.) Transfer purée into clean saucepan. Add milk or cream, black pepper, and salt. Stir briefly over very low heat. Taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary. Ladle into serving bowls, drip optional cream onto surface, and swirl with a skewer or toothpick. Add optional mint leaves, chives, and/or croutons. Serve immediately.
This recipe is for Sra of When My Soup Came Alive, hosting MLLA 17. Sra will have the round-up online as soon as possible. Do stop by and peruse the menu. I'm sure there is yet another feast coming up.
Been There, Done That ~
Chickpea Caldo Verde
Cannellini, Fennel, and Olives
Other People's Eats ~
Black Bean Soup with Fried Egg
Rigatoni with Legume and Vegetable Soup