Kripalu Recipe: Spring Pea and Mint Soup

With fresh mint and spring peas, this vibrant green, silky-smooth soup is an homage to the season of rebirth. There are no spices here, so caramelizing the vegetables is a key step in developing the flavor.

Ayurvedic Insight: Peas are astringent and excellent for reducing kapha. Due to the pungent onions, leeks, scallions, garlic, and black pepper, vata types may prefer this soup at lunchtime, when digestion is strongest.

Serves 4

1½ cups chopped cleaned leeks
½ cup chopped fennel
½ cup chopped scallions (green and white parts)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
5 cups fresh or frozen peas
3 cups vegetable stock or water
½ cup thinly sliced spinach (chiffonade)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Heat a medium soup pot over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Put in the leeks, fennel, scallions, and oil and shake the pot to coat the vegetables. Cover and cook gently until the vegetables are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Uncover, raise the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add 4 cups of the peas and the stock, scraping the pot bottom to loosen any browned bits. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce the heat to low and simmer just until the peas are heated through but still bright green, about 3 minutes.

4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in an upright blender. If using an upright blender, avoid a blowout by cooling the soup slightly and partially removing the center lid of the blender. Puree the soup until it is super-smooth.

5. Pour the soup back into the pot (if you used an upright blender) and stir in the remaining 1 cup peas, the spinach, mint, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Heat through and serve.

Option: The soup can also be cooled, chilled for up to 1 day, and served cold.

Excerpted from The Kripalu Kitchen: Nourishing Food for Body and Soul, by Jeremy Rock Smith with David Joachim.

Find out more about The Kripalu Kitchen and order your copy.