Saturday, 17 September 2011

Potage St Germain (well nearly)

It's always great when a recipe combines several of your great loves, and this soup does that. Soup. Low GI goodness. France. And a friend's blog. Too good to pass up.

Split peas are a nutritional storehouse, with a fabulous low GI of 32.

I've never really been a fan of the traditional pea and ham soup, I find it too furry on the tongue, and the colour is usually unappealing. Here, we don't have the ham, and the soup is glammed  up by addition of fresh peas at the end to give it a great colour boost. So when my friend Hannah blogged this simple French potage, I knew I would have to give it a try quite soon. So I did. And it was fab.

Although it turns out this isn't really a traditional Potage St Germain, which is more a fresh pea soup made with stock, lettuce, onion and celery. I felt certain that Elizabeth David had a recipe for Potage St Germain in her book French Provinical Cooking, but I suddenly can't find it. The name of course brings to mind St Germain de Pres, a lovely but dilapidated church on the left bank of Paris.

2 cups green split peas (400g)
1 litre water
1 tblsp olive oil
1 large brown onion (200gm), coarsely chopped
2 trimmed sticks celery (150gm), coarsely chopped
1.25 litres chicken or vegetable stock
500gm frozen peas
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Soak split peas in the water in a large bowl for 3 hours or overnight.

Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion is soft. Stir in celery, cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add undrained peas and stock, bring to a boil; simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour or until peas are tender (skimming the surface and stirring occasionally). Stir in frozen peas; cook, for about 10 minutes until peas are tender.

Blitz soup in high speed blender, until smooth.

Return soup to pan. Heat through. Season to taste, and garnish, with mint or garnish of your choice.

Pretend you're in Paris whilst you eat.


My 10 year old ate this without complaint- just the usual bribe of bread and butter.

I garnished with creme fraiche and chives, as that's what I had on hand.

I only noticed the soup was meant to be simmered uncovered when I typed the recipe here. I did it covered.

I'm cross posting this on my soup blog.


  1. Oh yes, oh yes. Soup, friendship, France. Some of the greatest things in life. :) *hugs*

    P.S. It's kind of magical how amazing this tastes for such a simple collection of ingredients, isn't it?!

  2. Soup. Friendship. France! What else is there? Oh wait- chocolate!

    I do like well flavoured simple soups like this. And the fresh peas really do lift it out of the more ordinary split pea soup.