Minty Sweet Pea and Zucchini Soup with Garlic Shrimp



MINT Symbol of Hospitality from The Spice Cookbook, 1964

"One of Ovid's tales of godsend goddesses, written years ago, was inspired by mint-symbol of hospitality. Philemon and Baucis, man and wife, were living in Phrygia, a country in Asia Minor. The land was so poor, this couple had scarcely sufficient food to keep them alive. One day two strangers knocked at their door, asking to be fed. Despite their poverty, Philemon and Baucis were delighted to have guests, and prepared the best meal possible from their meager supplies. Wanting to fill their humble home with an inviting fragrance, they rubbed their table with mint leaves. At that point their anxieties were past - the guests proved to be Zeus and Hermes, incognito. The hovel was soon transformed into temple, and priests ministered to all the needs of Philemon and Baucis for duration of their lives.

Sweet Peas 1

Mint, plant historians claim, came originally from the Mediterranean shores. Mythology offers a far more romantic story: mint was once the nymph Mentha, unfortunate to have attracted the eye of Pluto. Persephone, his jealous wife, pursued Mentha, and trod her ferociously underfoot. Pluto, unable to control his wife's fury, changed Mentha into a delightful herb, ever after sacred to this god of the underworld.

Sweet Peas and Poppy

Mint was well known and highly esteemed in the ancient world. We read in Bible that the Pharisees paid tithes of mint, anise, and cumin. In Greece, crushed mint leaves where used as perfume for the arms and to scent the bath".

Mint

Fresh sweet peas and garlic shrimp make a simple, but delicious combination of flavors. The aroma of mint is ideal complement to the sweetness of cooked vegetables. You may serve this soup hot or cold. If you've never served a chilled soup before, this is the one to try. Fresh and light, it's perfect way to celebrate summer.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 cup sweet peas, if you don't have fresh ones, use frozen
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 scallions, rinsed well and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard seeds

Sweet Peas 2

Directions:

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the sweet peas, zucchini, potato, chopped scallions and broth or water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes. Add mint. Stir in the cream. Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor until smooth. Heat the soup, stirring occasionally for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan over high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan and season with some of the salt, pepper and ground mustard seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 2-3 minutes. Season the shrimp with more of the salt and pepper mixture.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, add cooked shrimp, garnish with the mint and serve.


Sweet Pea Soup Shrimp 3

9 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...
June 5, 2012 at 2:34 PM  

I am in love with this soup! So green, light yet so flavourful and tasty. Fantastic photos.

Thyme (Sarah) said...
June 5, 2012 at 4:31 PM  

What a sweet story. I hadn't heard that one...and my son loves mythology so I will run it by him...I'll bet he will tell me the details. The soup looks delicious. I have a large pot of spearmint and I'll always think of this story from now on...

Eating Local in the Lou said...
June 5, 2012 at 6:12 PM  

Oh my goodness- this sounds Heavenly! I love the use of mint, especially given that I have it growing all over in my garden. Now I can put it to good use!

Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...
June 6, 2012 at 1:07 AM  

Peas and mint beautiful combination, the prawns finish the dish well too.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

Food Gal said...
June 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM  

Looks like the perfect taste of spring. Love the pic of the peas in the cordial glass, too. ;)

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...
June 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM  

Yum! The soup sounds delicious and I love all your pretty photos!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...
June 8, 2012 at 12:44 AM  

I want to make this soup! Looks really delicious! Love your antique props!

tika hapsari nilmada said...
July 6, 2012 at 8:33 PM  

I love pea soup ! Thanks for submitting your photo to DMBLGiT July

Sonia - L'Exquisit said...
October 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM  

Yelena, this soup has become unconditional in my house, thanks for the recipe!

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