Hot weather calls for fresh and light dishes like this 20 Minute Pea Soup with Serrano Ham. It’s so easy and quick to put together while being very tasty. It’s great for making the most of seasonal peas, although you can also make it with frozen peas. The kefir, mint and Serrano ham topping take it up a notch, making it and ideal starter for a meal with family and friends or for a weeknight dinner. I bet you’ll love it!
About a month ago or so, I went to a friend’s house and my namesake friend Paula served this pea soup as a starter. We fell in love with it! When I shared it through stories, many of you asked for the recipe so I asked Paula if she could share it with me and here we have it. I’ve added my personal touch by adding a little kefir and mint which add flavour, texture and make the topping so beautiful. When I shared the result with Paula she told me that she’s now going to copy me and I was like… “the one who copied you was me” XD. So thank you Paula!
20 Minute Pea Soup with Serrano Ham Ingredients
- Leek and Onion: they are the base of the initial sofrito and add a lot of flavour (you already know that for me onion is essential in any vegetable soup :P). If you don’t like the leek flavour, you can just use onion and viceversa.
- Peas: the star of the show. Since it’s spring, I have made the soup with fresh peas, but when out of season or if the fresh peas are very expensive, I make it with frozen peas.
- Chicken Broth: using broth instead of water adds extra depth of flavour. If you want to make the soup vegan friendly, you can substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
- Salt: needed to enhance the flavours.
- Oil: extra virgin olive oil both for sautéeing the veggies but especially for the final decoration.
- Kefir: it not only makes the soup prettier – the white swirl on top looks so nice-, but it also pairs so well with the peas. You can also use classic or Greek yoghurt (if too thick, thin it with a bit of milk). Any of these options is a little lighter than heavy cream, which you can also use if you prefer.
- Serrano or Iberian Ham: the final touch. The salty point of the ham goes so well with the sweetness of the peas. As Paula taught me, we should first sautée it in a pan so that it sweats and gets a bit crispy.
- Mint (optional): in my opinion, it’s the herb that best goes with peas. In addition to providing a refreshing touch, it makes the topping so pretty.
A Few Highlights of This Pea Soup
- You can serve this soup hot or cold to your preference. Personally, when it’s hot I always have it cold, it’s so refreshing.
- If you make it ahead, it will thicken up a bit over time. Before serving, stir it well and if you want you can thin it with a little water or broth.
- If you use frozen peas instead of fresh, they will be ready in 2 minutes.
- If you want to make the soup vegan friendly, replace the ham with vegan bacon or just some freshly cracked pepper. As mentioned above, instead of chicken broth, use vegetable broth and vegan yoghurt instead of kefir.
What to Serve This Pea Soup with?
Las cremas o purés en general me encanta servirlas con un buen pan o picatostes. Si te gusta la idea, puedes hacer mi focaccia casera sin amasado, que además dejaría a tus invitados con la boca aún más abierta, o mis picatostes caseros en sartén, que se hacen en un pis pas y que puedes preparar mientras los guisantes hacen chup-chup.
I generally love to serve soups or purées with good bread or croutons. If you like the idea, you can make my Easy No-Knead Homemade Focaccia, which would also cause jaw drops, or my Skillet Croutons, which are made in no time.
More Easy and Quick Vegetable Soups
If you make this 20 Minute Pea Soup with Serrano Ham recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
20 Minute Pea Soup with Serrano Ham
- 1/2 large onion - cut into chunks (about 100 g)
- 1 small leek - sliced (about 100 g)
- 400 g peas - fresh or frozen (see notes)
- 500-750 ml chicken broth - or vegetable broth
- 4 slices Serrano ham - or Iberian ham, cut into squares
- 4 tbsp kefir - or natural/Greek yoghurt thinned with with a bit of milk if necessary
- Mint leaves - optional, to garnish
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with a thin layer of oil and heat it over medium-low heat. Add the onion and leek with a pinch of salt and sauté for about 5 minutes until translucent.
- Add the peas and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Add the broth, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat so that it bubbles gently and let everything simmer for about 5 minutes until the peas are soft.
- If you are going to serve the soup right away, while the broth is simmering, prepare the ham, otherwise prepare it when are going to serve the soup. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the ham squares. Let it sweat and get a bit crispy for 1 minute. Set aside.
- To serve, pour the soup into shallow plates or bowls, add a drizzle of kefir, make a swirl (see notes) and top with the ham, a drizzle of olive oil and finally garnish it with small mint leaves. Enjoy!
- If you use frozen peas, they will be ready in just a couple of minutes. You can add them directly without thawing them.
- How can I make the kefir swirl? You can see how to make a swirl here (instead of a toothpick you can use a knife or spoon).