Cooking with IPA: English Pea, Watercress, and Mint Soup

A splash of IPA adds bright flavor accents to this comforting soup, which gets its vivid hue from English peas.

Christopher Cina Aug 26, 2023 - 2 min read

Cooking with IPA: English Pea, Watercress, and Mint Soup Primary Image

Christopher Cina

Serves: 4–6

  • ¼ cup (59 ml) olive oil
  • 8 oz (227 g) onion, diced
  • 2 oz (57 g) garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 qt (946 ml) stock, vegetable or chicken
  • 2 lb (907 g) English peas, cleaned
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 1 Tbs fresh mint, minced
  • ½ cup (118 ml) cream
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) IPA
  • Salt to taste
  • Sour cream

In a large saucepan, heat the olive over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sweat gently, not allowing them to brown. Add the bay leaf, the stock, and the peas. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer for 25 minutes. While the peas are simmering, remove the stems from the watercress.

When the peas are tender, remove the pot from the heat and add the stemmed watercress and mint. Puree the mixture until smooth with a hand blender or in a traditional blender. Strain through a fine sieve into a soup tureen or serving bowl. Stir in the cream and the beer. Season to taste with salt.

When serving, garnish each bowl with a sprig of watercress and 1 Tbs sour cream.

Beer Tasting Notes: A modern West Coast–style IPA works well in this context, as a little goes a long way (but nothing’s wasted, so enjoy the remainder of the bottle as you cook). Look for lower bitterness, a cohesive citrus and tropical-fruit aroma, and a curt bitterness that’s more tropical fruit than herbal bite.

Beer Suggestions: Lawson’s Finest Triple Sunshine (Waitsfield, Vermont), Breakside Wanderlust (Portland, Oregon), Societe The Coachman (San Diego), Madtree Entropic Theory (Cincinnati).