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May 11, 2011 2:04 AM by From the Editors of Live Right Live Well

Green Pea and Mint Soup

Enjoy the essence of spring with this flavorful and easy soup. Green peas -- even the frozen variety -- are filled with protein, antioxidant vitamins A and C, and fiber. Combine them with carrots, onion, garlic, lemon and fresh mint to create a colorful and refreshing weeknight meal. Just add whole-grain bread and a side salad. Choose light yellow or clear vegetable broth (rather than a dark one that contains tomato paste) so the green remains vibrant. Remove mint leaves from stems easily by running your fingers backwards from the bottom.

Makes about 6 servings (1 2/3 cups each)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced sweet Vidalia onion
3 very large cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups vegetable broth or stock, divided*
2 16-ounce bags frozen green peas (about 7 cups)
1 heaping cup (or 1-ounce bag) packed mint leaves
5 to 6 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
Light sour cream or plain yogurt, lemon zest and mint leaves for garnish, if desired

*Use slightly more broth if you prefer a thinner soup

1. In a 5-quart pan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
2. Stir in pepper and salt with enough vegetable broth to completely cover the vegetables (about 4 1/2 to 5 cups).
3. Bring to a boil. Stir in frozen peas with remaining vegetable broth and return to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until peas are tender but still bright green. Stir in mint, lemon juice and lemon zest.
5. Using a regular or immersion blender, puree the soup in batches.
6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of light sour cream or plain yogurt, lemon zest and a mint leaf, if desired.
7. Refrigerate leftovers in a tightly covered container.

Nutrition information (per one serving, without garnishes
215 calories
11 g protein
32 g carbohydrates
5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
0 mg cholesterol
745 mg sodium
710 mg potassium
95 mg calcium
3.2 mg iron
6787 IU vitamin A
37 mg vitamin C
9 g fiber

Copyright (c) 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.



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