Spring pea and lettuce soup

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Spring pea and lettuce soup

This soup is a thick, very green, smooth work in progress. I'd like some help with this one. It's really easy and tasty but I think it could be even better. This version uses fresh marjoram. I thought about a combination of fresh mint and tarragon or just fresh dill instead of marjoram. If anyone tries these other versions, please let us all know how you like them.

Shelling peas is fun, particularly when someone else is doing it with you. I think it would be great to involve kids. They'd be as good at it as you are. Shelling peas are not at the farmers' markets yet but I am submitting this recipe so you are ready to buy a bag full as soon as they show up.

Servings: 4


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped romaine leaves, washed and drained
  • 2 1/4 cups fresh or frozen peas (about three pounds of fresh peas)
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream


  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot. 
  2. Saute the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. 
  4. Add the lettuce and stir frequently until it wilts. 
  5. Add the broth, water, peas, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 
  6. Puree the soup in a blender making sure to leave an opening covered with a hand towel for the steam to escape. Return the soup to a clean pot. 
  7. Whisk in the sour cream and heat just until heated through. Don’t boil it at this point. 
  8. Serve with a garnish of pea shoots or mint. This soup could also be served chilled.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 176
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 18 mg
  • Sodium: 489 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 20 g
  • Dietary fiber: 6 g
  • Total sugars: 7 g
  • Protein: 8 g