• Yield: Serves 4

There's still a little chill in the air when the first peas are ready for picking. This soup is perfect in the spring when young lettuces are around.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced and well washed

  • 6 cups tender green lettuce leaves, well washed and dried

  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

  • 2 cups shelled fresh green peas (see Tidbit)

  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Add the lettuce and mint and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lettuce is very tender.

Stir in the peas, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the peas are tender and the flavors have blended.

Working in 2 batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add the cream and lemon juice and blend. Serve hot.

Tidbit: To get 2 cups of shelled peas, you'll need to start with about 2 pounds of peas in the pod, so feel free to use frozen peas here (we'll never tell).

Reprinted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Copyright (c) 2014 by Beekman 1802, LLC. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.