Downton Abbey Potato and Pea Soup | Recipe

March: this year’s lamb or lion? Whether spring comes in this year gently or roaring, one thing is certain: you can eat like the Earl of Downton Abbey without breaking the budget with this Downton Abbey Potato and Pea Soup, found in Edwardian Cooking: The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook. This soup is full of springtime goodness. And you’ll be out of the kitchen and seated at table in less than an hour; one more reason the Downton serving staff will wish they were you! 

Potato and Pea Soup

Serves 4

What you need:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp corn, olive, or other oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp salt1
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups diced red or fingerling potatoes, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or 4 cups water and 3 tsp chicken bouillon)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 cup diced cooked chicken or ham2, if desired

What you do:
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt (if using) and sauté 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
  2. Stir in the potatoes and beef or chicken stock and raise the heat to bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 25 – 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. 
  3. Add the peas and black pepper (and cooked meat, if using), and cook 5 – 7 minutes more. 
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve. 

Helpful Hints & Hacks
  1. I omitted the salt because I added diced ham, which has salt aplenty.
  2. You can turn this appetizing first course soup into a filling entrée by adding cubed or diced cooked meat, about 1 cup. I added 1 cup chopped ham and served the soup with an easy fruit salad for a light springtime meal. You could try it with chicken or even a sweet sausage. Have fun with possibilities!
  3. This soup has a very thin broth, and I prefer broth to have just a bit of density. So I made a slurry of 2 tsp cornstarch and 4 tsp cool water, mixing it well. After adding the peas and black pepper, I brought the soup just to a boil, and poured in the slurry, stirring constantly; then I reduced the heat, and let that simmer while stirring frequently. Perfection!

Potato and Pea Soup was generally served on British estates in the early spring when peas and baby potatoes are showing in the kitchen gardens. It makes a lovely first course of a seven-course meal, but if you’d rather, with a tweak here and there (shared above), you can serve Potato and Pea Soup as a lovely weeknight entrée with a good bread and a light salad. It’s a wonderful way to use the leftovers of the Easter feast. I hope you enjoy this delicate, delightful recipe, and ciao for now!

Review by Anne