Unfussy Fare

Sweet Pea Romaine Soup


I”m feeling dense and leaden from overindulging on holiday bounty. This could spell trouble, as we”ve still got considerable holiday bounty ahead. Today I craved green. Something light and bright, quick and tasty. My thoughts turned to a favorite soup I used to order often at the Dale Street Cafe in Colorado Springs. That was many years ago. A quick google search shows that the restaurant is still around, although it”s changed owners since I ate there. This soup was inspired by theirs.

Sweet peas and romaine offer a lovely spring-green counterpoint to heavy holiday fare. Lettuce in soup might sound strange, but trust me, it works. The intense shamrock hue belies a delicate bouquet and subtle flavor. It tastes grassy and sweet and altogether fresh. It was the perfect choice for this, the darkest day of the year.  You could add a little cream at the end for richness, if you”re so inclined. Personally, I love the lightness.



3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped (about a cup and a quarter)
1 12-ounce bag frozen peas, thawed
1 medium head romaine lettuce, sliced into 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 cups water
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute for five minutes.

Add romaine leaves. Cook, stirring regularly, until leaves are completely wilted (about five minutes).

Add peas, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.

Puree soup in a blender or food processor.

Return soup to pot. Add water if it seems too thick. Add mint leaves and lemon juice. Stir, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with a mint leaf garnish.


7 Responses to “Sweet Pea Romaine Soup”

  1. Pamela Perry says:

    Sounds delightfully fresh and fragrant.

  2. hungry dog says:

    Beautiful! And sounds like the perfect balance for all the sugar, fat, and booze most of us are consuming this time of year!

  3. Gillian says:

    Thanks, Pamela. It is a nice burst of green on a gray day. Thanks also for the nut recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    Thanks to you, too, Hungry Dog. I am certainly indulging in my share of sugar, fat, and booze. It’s fun, but green soup has its charms, too. Happy holidays!

  4. Kathy says:

    Dale St. Cafe! Wow, I haven’t been there in years. Thanks for reminding me of their nummy soup. Hm.. I should go see what they’re like these days for lunch today.

  5. Gillian says:

    So Kathy, did you go to the Dale Street Cafe for lunch? How was it? I have fond memories of eating soup by the fire there about a hundred years ago. Well, more like 15 years ago….

  6. Tara says:

    I am going to make this soup tonight, Gillian!

  7. Tara says:

    And I will send you a longer email, about other things, later this evening. xo.

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