Minted mermaid

Minted mermaid

Cool pea soup, smoked salmon, mint

New Classics
Mark Roper

I think the title ‘minted mermaid’ speaks for itself. Who would have thought that a chilled, herbaceous green soup could beat a line-up of meat (predominately pork and lamb) dishes in a competition? Well this little lady romped it home with ‘best in show’ at Taste of Melbourne, much to the amazement of my colleagues who tried to talk me out of submitting it as a contender. Cool, clean and sexy, this soup is a true crowd pleaser.


Quantity Ingredient
1 small all-purpose potato, preferably desiree, peeled and very thinly sliced
500ml Chicken stock
or water
500ml thickened cream
1 small leek, thinly sliced, white part only
50g butter
500g frozen peas
10g mint leaves, firmly packed
salt and white pepper

Salmon cream

Quantity Ingredient
120ml thickened cream
90g creme fraiche
150g smoked salmon, sliced and diced
salt and pepper
fresh lemon juice

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
salmon roe
200g sugar snap peas, tiny peas removed
tiny mint leaves
pea tendrils, (optional)


  1. Put the potato in a saucepan with the stock and cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, sweat the leek in the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, until soft but not coloured. Add the peas. By this time the potato should be cooked in the cream and stock mixture. Add this to the leek and peas and add the mint. Simmer briefly then process in a blender.
  3. Push the mixture through a sieve. Allow to cool completely then season with salt and white pepper.
  4. For the salmon cream, whip the cream and the crème fraîche together until thick. Fold the smoked salmon through the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Refrigerate until needed.
  5. To serve

    Divide the soup into 6–8 serving bowls. Using a spoon dipped in hot water, form generous quenelles of the salmon cream and add to each bowl. Spoon about a teaspoon of salmon roe around each quenelle. Sprinkle on the tiny peas and mint leaves. Garnish with the pea tendrils, if using, and serve.
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