- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 leek, white part only, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 potato, diced
- 100 g lean boiled or baked ham, diced
- 2⅔ cups (500 g) shelled fresh or frozen peas
- ½ teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, or to taste
- 1 litre vegetable stock, preferably homemade light, or a mixture of half stock and half water
- 3 large lettuce leaves, finely shredded
- 2 tablespoons pouring cream
- salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a saucepan.
- Add the onion, carrot, garlic, leek, celery, parsley, potato and ham.
- Stir well, then cover the pan, reduce the heat and sweat the vegetables for about 30 minutes or until they are softened.
- Stir the vegetables occasionally so that they cook evenly.
- Add the peas, herbes de Provence and stock, or stock and water.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to moderately high and cook until the peas are just tender – allow about 10 minutes for fresh peas or 5 minutes for frozen.
- Add the lettuce and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.
- Purée half to two–thirds of the soup in a blender, then stir the purée back into the rest of the soup.
- Alternatively, use a handheld blender to partly purée the soup in the pan.
- Reheat the soup gently, if necessary, and taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls.
- Swirl a little cream into each portion and serve at once.
Preparation: about 15 minutes
Cooking: about 1 hour