Pea soup had always grossed me out when I was a kid, and adding mint to it (as much as I love mint) seemed strange, but somehow this “pea and mint soup with prosciutto,” from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food, really works! (And it’s easily made vegetarian.) It’s a great way to use up mint when you have multiple mint plants and can only make so much tea and so many mojitos, and goes great with sandwiches.
Before I get into the recipe, let me say two ways to save money making it: (1) Use sour cream instead of crème fraîche (which is a sort of sour cream anyway); I’ve tried both ways and, while the crème fraîche works even better, the difference is not so huge. (2) If prosciutto is out of your price range, try genoa salami instead (like in my photos). In L.A., at least, there was always a cheap-but-tasty brand of this available. Vegetarians can use fake-bacon bits, which are made of soy and also cheap.
The ingredients are 2 tbsp EVOO (plus extra to drizzle), prosciutto/salami, sea salt & black pepper, large handful of mint leaves, 1 lb 2 oz (though they tend to come in 1 lb bags) of fresh or frozen peas, 3/4 cup of crème fraîche/sour cream (plus more to dollop on top). You make the prosciutto crispy by sprinkling it with black pepper and frying in olive oil (be careful not to burn it), then blotting it and setting it aside. Then add the mint to boiling salted water and, after the water is boiling again, add the peas and blanch them (2-3 minutes; they should be “just tender and still bright green”. Drain them but save the liquid. Put the peas and about 2 c. of the liquid in a blender, whiz until smooth. Add a “generous drizzle” of olive oil and all but 4 tbsp of the crème fraîche, and some salt and black pepper. Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraîche and crispy prosciutto on top. (And more salt and pepper, in my opinion.) Delicious!
PS: This website discusses the difference between crème fraîche and sour cream, and if/when you can substitute one for the other.