French Pea Soup: Simple Potage Saint Germain

This French Pea Soup recipe, otherwise known as Potage Saint Germain, is an easy, classic dish, filled with the flavors of fresh peas and mint.

Bowl of French Pea Soup in a White Scalloped Bowl

Perfect for a light lunch, afternoon tea, or brunch. 

It’s a soft and beautiful pureed soup made with tender peas, fresh sprigs of mint, and a dash of cream.

Velvety soft and perfectly seasoned, this soup is a favorite springtime dish that is incredibly easy to make.

Closeup top view of French Pea Soup with cream, peas and mint

Origins of Pea Soup 

Potage Saint Germain, or in our case, French Pea Soup, is a simple, nourishing soup with classic flavors.

It also has a rich heritage dating to the 1660s.

Traditionally peasant food, pea soup became a favorite of the Count of Saint Germain, minister of war under Louis XIV.

He requested it often enough that over time, it became known as Potage Saint Germain.

Today, the soup is a French culinary school classic.

Ingredients of Frozen Peas, Chicken Stock and Herbs for French Pea Soup

French Pea Soup Ingredients

This soup requires only 5 ingredients, so quality is important.

The base of this recipe is peas, which can be in the form of fresh garden peas, which there is no equal, or quality frozen peas.

Since my garden peas are just now beginning to climb their trellis, I opted for frozen peas.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 10 oz package frozen peas (or 2 1/2 cup fresh peas)
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Single bowl of French Pea Soup with white tulips

How to Make French Pea Soup

Begin by finely chopping 2 mint leaves and set them aside. This will garnish the soup when its served.

Then, in a large saucepan, bring chicken stock, 1 sprig of mint, and salt and pepper to a boil. I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper for seasoning, but adjust as necessary.

Once the stock comes to a boil, add peas and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the soup, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the peas are very tender. If you’re using fresh peas, it may take a bit longer. 

Discard the mint leaves and puree the soup in a blender. Strain to remove any pea skins and taste for seasoning.

Lately, I’ve been straining only about half of the soup and leaving the remaining soup unstrained. I’m liking the additional texture and thickness. If you want your soup very smooth, strain the entire batch.

Stir the butter into the soup until it melts. Spoon soup into bowls and add a spoonful of cream to each serving. Stir to marble the cream into the soup. Garnish with chopped fresh mint leaves, salt, and pepper.

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Two bowls of French Pea Soup on a white background

Bowl of French Pea Soup in a White Scalloped Bowl

French Pea Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This French Pea Soup recipe, otherwise known as Potage Saint Germain, is an easy, classic dish, filled with the flavors of fresh peas and mint.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz package frozen peas (or 2 1/2 cup fresh peas)
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Finely chop 2 mint leaves and set them aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock, 1 sprig of mint, and salt and pepper to a boil. I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  3. Add peas and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. If you're using fresh peas, it takes a little longer. You want the peas very tender.
  4. Discard the mint leaves and puree the soup in a blender. Strain to remove any pea skins and taste for seasoning.
  5. Stir the butter into the soup until it melts. Spoon soup into bowls and add a spoonful of cream to each serving. Stir to marble the cream into the soup. Garnish with chopped fresh mint leaves, salt, and pepper.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 520mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 10g

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