This chilled pea and mint soup recipe makes an easy no-cook cold summer soup – which can be eaten year-round if you turn up the heating. Fresh, fragrant and cooling thanks to the cucumber, mint and basil, this healthy vegetarian soup can be transformed into a vegan soup if you skip the sour cream.
If you loved the gazpacho recipe from southern Spain that we just shared, then I think you’re also going to enjoy this chilled pea and mint soup recipe, which makes a gorgeous green summer soup that contains more than just peas and mint: crunchy cucumber, zingy onion and garlic, and aromatic basil. Like the gazpacho, it’s essentially a liquid green salad.
This no-cook soup recipe is perfect for those of you in Australia and other parts of the southern hemisphere who are currently suffering through horrific heatwaves right now, when the last thing you want to do is sweat over a stove. Eat it on its own or match it with one of our summer salads. I’ll tell you more about this chilled pea and mint soup recipe in a moment.
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Here’s our chilled pea and mint soup recipe. Keep cool!
Chilled Pea and Mint Soup Recipe for an Easy No-Cook Cold Summer Soup
Our short Cambodian ‘winter’ – longer this year, around six weeks – appears to have ended. I’ve packed the cardigan away, started swimming again in a pool that’s been too icy to even dip my toes into in recent weeks, and have been sweating once more under the ceiling fan as I’ve typed up this recipe today.
After a month cooking warming Russian food, everything from meat pelmeni and potato vareniki to stuffed cabbage rolls, savoury pirozhki (hand pies) and kotleti (chicken meat patties) – I’ve been recreating my baboushka’s recipes and fine-tuning family recipes for a future Russian cookbook, after we put the Cambodian cookbook to bed – all I can think about eating now are cold summer soups and salads.
Fortunately, both Russian and Cambodian cuisines boast a number of cold summer soups, from this Russian chilled beetroot soup and kefir-based radish and cucumber soup to this clear Cambodian broth called ‘outside of the pot soup’. But today I’m enjoying this gorgeous green soup, so let me tell you about that.
One of the things I love about this chilled pea and mint soup recipe is that it’s versatile. You could certainly make this with green peas and mint, and while those greens still dominate, I love this chilled soup with cucumber, onion, garlic, and basil, which makes it taste more like Spain’s green gazpacho.
You could ladle the soup into big bowls for a healthy, light yet filling meal for two or three, distribute it across smaller bowls for appetisers for six or eight, or pour it into shot glasses as an amuse bouche for a dinner party – if you’re lucky to be living somewhere that isn’t under lockdown and you can socialise that is.
Dilute the soup with water, puree it for longer than I suggest in the recipe, and you can drink it out of a glass. Peel the cucumbers – which I recommend you do if they are bitter; our cucumber skins are not – and strain for a lighter and more refined soup. Add coriander and dill. I didn’t, as I didn’t want to risk you thinking I add coriander and dill to everything. Even though I sort of do.
Chilled Pea and Mint Soup Recipe
- 250 g peas fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 2 slices white bread crusts removed
- Water to cover bread
- 180 g cucumbers chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 125 g onion chopped
- 10 g garlic cloves finely chopped
- 50 g fresh mint leaves only
- 20 g fresh basil leaves only
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 2 tbsp sour cream optional
- Fresh mint and basil
- If using frozen peas, defrost for a few minutes, but don’t cook them, then set aside.
- Remove bread crusts, slice the bread in quarters, and soak in enough water to cover the pieces.
- Chop the cucumbers, evenly sprinkle the pieces with a pinch of salt, and set aside. Only remove the skins if they’re bitter or if you are planning on straining the soup.
- Chop the onions and garlic, remove the mint and basil leaves from the stalks (discard stalks), and add to the blender, along with the peas, cucumbers, soaked bread, and 200 mls of water.
- Blend for 3 minutes until smooth, then taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. If using sour cream, now is the time to add it, then blend again for another 2 minutes. If you like this dense texture, refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but 2-3 hours is even better.
- If you prefer a lighter soup, add water and blend again for another minute (you could also strain the soup if you like), then refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum or 2-3 hours if time.
- When chilled to your liking, stir, then serve into individual bowls or glasses, garnish with a few small mint and basil leaves, some dots of extra virgin olive oil, and – optional – a dollop of sour cream.
Do let us know if you make this chilled pea and mint soup recipe in the comments below, by email or tag us on Instagram. We’d love to know how it turns out for you.