British Recipes > Essex Pea Soup

How to make Essex pea soup:
Pea pods have an intense pea flavor and really it makes sense not to waste them. Originally a soup like this was sieved through a hair sieve or a 'Tammy' cloth.


1 pint (volume) peas in their pods
1 large onion
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 pint milk
1 teaspoon sugar
tender spearmint leaves (about 10)
salt and pepper
a little finely chopped parsley
(see measure conversions for more information)


- Remove the peas from the pods.
- Wash the pods and cut off any hard or fibrous bits.
- Put the butter into a large pan.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Fry the onion in the butter for a few minutes until soft and transparent.
- Add the peas and the pods and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the stock and mint leaves.
- Bring to the boil and cook at a simmer until all the vegetables are tender.
- Blend the cornflour with a little of the milk until it forms a smooth paste.
- Stir this into the soup and add the rest of the milk.
- Heat carefully, stirring until the soup boils.
- Cook gently for a few more minutes.
- Cool and liquidise the soup.
- Reheat and serve sprinkled with a little parsley.