zuppa di fave e piselli al profumo di limone e menta – lemony, minty pea and broad bean soup

“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”, as one amateur meteorologist who had an admirable way with words once wrote. And it’s certainly a windy-sunny-rainy May here; definitely not winter, but not quite summery either. Just the sort of weather that leaves you wanting fresher food, but something with a bit of warmth. This soup perfectly fits the bill: quick, simple and full of the bright green freshness of spring, but comforting at the same time.

The only real work involved is shelling the broad beans and peas, but if you can’t face even this much effort, get partners or children involved, presuming you don’t have a scullery maid handy.  You could of course use frozen beans and peas, but it won’t be as good, just even quicker.

The lemon zest really lifts it to a new level, so don’t leave it out.

For four:

  • 1kg fresh broad beans, (unshelled weight – provides around 350g of beans))
  • 800g fresh peas (unshelled weight – provides around 300g of peas)
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
  • Grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
  1. Bring veg stock to boil. Add vegetables and cook until as tender as you like. Eight minutes for me was enough – the peas were still slightly al dente and fresh-tasting.
  2. Stir in mint and lemon zest, leaving a little of each to sprinkle on top as a garnish.

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