Pea and Pesto Soup Shots

Look no further for an unusual appetiser to serve at your next dinner party.

These are really tasty little shots of pea soup, but with the added interest of pesto and also a little spring onion. I topped each glass off with some extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper and a little sprig of mint (just to make it pretty).

They are actually quite refreshing, especially as you don’t serve them piping hot like soup often is. This lower temperature lets you really enjoy the different flavours and textures of the soup, and also means that you can use drinking glasses rather than bowls to serve. I bought these liqueur glasses a few months ago and they are the ideal size. If you don’t have anything similar in your personal bar ( 🙂 ) then any small glass would do. This would even be good in small plastic shot glasses as part of a buffet to serve a bigger crowd.

The best thing about this soup is that it uses very few ingredients and takes just minutes to make. You can cook it in advance if you like – leave it to cool in the pan once blitzed and then just warm through when you are ready to serve.

I adapted one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes very slightly to get to this.

By the way, if you are thinking about making a Christmas Cake this year then this weekend is an ideal time to make this boozy version. It benefits from a good couple of months of maturing.

Ingredients – serves 6:

  • 350g/12 oz frozen baby peas (just plain, not minted)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • enough boiling water to cover the above
  • 2 tbsp ready-made pesto (I used Barilla’s Pesto Alla Genovese out of a jar)
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to serve
  • little sprigs of fresh mint, optional, to serve


  • Put the peas, spring onions, salt and lime juice in a medium saucepan, then add enough boiling water just to cover them.
  • Put the pan on the stove over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 minutes then remove from the heat.
  • Add the pesto to the saucepan.
  • Either use a stick mixer (immersion blender) to blitz the soup whilst it is still in the pan, or carefully transfer it to a larger standard blender. If you use the stick mixer then the soup will have a coarser texture than the standard blender. I tried both and I preferred the result from the standard blender as it gave a more refined result. However, the photos on this post show the result from the stick mixer.
  • If you use the standard blender, return the blitzed soup to the saucepan to sit off the heat until a few minutes before you are ready to eat.
  • When you are about ready to eat, re-heat the soup until it is just warm.
  • Carefully divide between your serving glasses using a spoon.
  • Top each glass with a tiny drizzle of olive oil, a little freshly cracked black pepper and then the sprig of mint (if using).
  • Serve and enjoy!

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