Pea & Mint Soup with Crispy Pancetta & Fresh Herb and Feta Toasts

From Ainsley’s Fantastic Flavours, ITV

Pea soup is one you can enjoy all year round as it’s perfect to serve chilled as well as hot. It’s also really easy to make. Peas are frozen within just a few hours of being picked and so all their goodness and freshness is sealed in the pack – I always have a bag in my freezer for a quick meal. The addition of crispy pancetta for texture and saltiness is delightful (swap with some salted toasted sunflower seeds if vegetarian) and the quick feta toasts are a delightfully fresh and herby side.


Preheat the oven to 190C/170Cfan

Lightly brush each baguette slice with extra virgin olive oil on both sides. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden, turning once.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 4-6 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the peas, sugar and stock. Bring to the boil and season to taste. Reduce the heat, stir in the mint and a squeeze of lemon and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a small frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the pancetta. Fry until cooked through and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Carefully pour the soup into a food processor and blend to a puree, then pour back into the pan (or use a hand stick blender). Gently reheat, adding a little more stock if you like a thinner soup, and check for seasoning.

In a bowl loosely mash together the feta, crème fraiche or yoghurt, lemon zest, the herbs and a small squeeze of lemon juice, making sure you keep plenty of texture. Season with black pepper. Spread the feta on to the toasts just before serving.

Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls. Dot a little crème fraiche into each one and top with some pancetta pieces and a grind of black pepper. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately with the feta toasts.



  • For the Pea & Mint Soup
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced (optional)
  • 450g frozen petit pois
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock, more if needed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-10 mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • ½ lemon for squeezing
  • 65g diced pancetta
  • 4 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • For the Toasts
  • 8 diagonal slices of baguette, lightly toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 150g feta, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill