Cold Minted Pea Soup

James Beard

Author and Educator

This wonderful spring-inspired soup highlights the fresh combination of peas and mint. It can be made with yogurt instead of cream if you prefer a tarter soup with fewer calories. Many people are surprised that the recipe calls for frozen peas, a convenience during the months when fresh peas are not available. It’s not unusual, though, when you recall that James Beard was a spokesperson for the Jolly Green Giant brand.


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small onion stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 3 pounds freshly shelled peas or 3 packages frozen peas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups heavy cream or plain yogurt
  • Finely chopped fresh mint


Put the chicken stock in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, tarragon, and peas. Cook until the peas are just tender. Remove and discard onion. Add salt and pepper to taste and purée in a food mill, blender, or food processor. Combine with cream or yogurt and serve well chilled with a generous sprinkling of mint.


8 servings