Pea, Chilli and Mint Soup

This super-smooth soup makes for a simple punchy lunch or a sofa cuppa soup – the mix of salty and sweet does it. If you’re not a bacon fan, make croutons!


  1. Peel and finely dice the shallots on a board using a chef ’s, paring or filleting knife.
  2. De-seed and finely dice the chilli. Crush the garlic.
  3. Put a large saucepan on to heat. Add the butter. Once it foams, add the shallot, garlic, chilli and a tiny pinch of salt. Stir and reduce the heat to low. Pop the lid onto the pan and let the mix sweat very gently without colouring until it softens up. It’ll take at least 5 minutes. Don’t rush – if you burn the mix it’ll get bitter and you’ll need to start again.
  4. In the meantime, pour the stock into another pan and put it on the hob to heat. Once the shallots have sweated down, add the hot stock and stir well.
  5. Add the peas and sugar and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring the mix to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5–6 minutes.


  1. Remove from the heat and add the mint.
  2. Now either tip the soup carefully into a food processor and whiz until really smooth, or blitz everything together in the pan using a stick blender. If it’s not absolutely smooth, put the soup through a fine sieve (texture matters with this one).
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm.
  4. If you want bacon with your soup, set the grill to high.
  5. Lay the streaky rashers on the rack and cook for 2–3 minutes per side, till crispy. Rest on kitchen paper.


  1. Pour the soup into a warm bowl or mug.
  2. Crumble the bacon on top if using, swirl over a bit of cream or yoghurt if you like, or leave plain.
  3. Enjoy with bread and butter.

From Sam Stern’s Cookery Course for Students in the Kitchen (Quadrille)

Photograph by Chris Terry

Useful Cooking Information


Metric Imperial
10 g½ oz
20 g¾ oz
25 g1 oz
50 g2 oz
75 g3 oz
110 g4 oz
150 g5 oz
175 g6 oz
200 g7 oz
225 g8 oz
250 g9 oz
275 g10 oz
350 g12 oz
450 g1 lb
500 g (½ kg)18 oz
700 g1½ lb
900 g2 lb
1 kg2¼ lb
1.3 kg3 lb
1.8 kg4 lb
2.2 kg5 lb


Metric Imperial
50 ml2 fl oz
75 ml3 fl oz
100 ml3½ fl oz
125 ml4 fl oz
150 ml5 fl oz¼ pint
200 ml7 fl oz
250 ml9 fl oz
300 ml10 fl oz½ pint
425 ml15 fl oz¾ pint
600 ml20 fl oz1 pint
800 ml1½ pint
1 l1¾ pints
1.2 l2 pints
1.5 l2½ pints
1.8 l3 pints
2 l3½ pints


Metric Imperial
5 mm¼ inch
1 cm½ inch
2 cm¾ inch
2.5 cm1 inch
3 cm1¼ inches
4 cm1½ inches
5 cm2 inches
10 cm3 inches
15 cm4 inches
20.5 cm6 inches
23 cm9 inches
25 cm10 inches
30 cm12 inches

Spoon measures - mean level measures unless the recipe says 'heaped'

Eggs - are always large for baking, unless recipe says otherwise

Oven Temperatures

Gas °F °C
Mark 1275140

Fan assisted ovens - remember to reduce temperatures by 20°C

Most Useful US/European Conversions

ButterUS 1 cup / 2 sticks8 oz220 g
SugarUS 1 cup6 oz175 g
FlourUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
LiquidUS 1 cup8 fl oz225 ml
Prepped OnionsUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Cheese, GratedUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Diced FruitUS 1 cup5 oz150 g
Fresh BreadcrumbsUS 1 cup2 oz55 g

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