Pease Porridge

Pease porridge hot,

pease porridge cold,

Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;

Some like it hot,

some like it cold,

Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

We can all remember reciting this nursery rhyme but probably at those tender young ages didn’t necessarily crave “pease”.  Pease is a Middle English word, treated as a mass noun similar to “oatmeal” The singular “pea” and plural “peas” arose by the evolution of the word.

In our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook, we’ve come up with a delicious spring pea soup that true to rhyme is delicious when served either hot or cold.

Don’t worry.  It’s so good there’s no way it will ever sit around for nine days.

Pease Porridge
Prep Time: 15m
Cook Time: 10m
Total Time: 25m


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced and well washed
  • 6 cups tender green lettuce leaves, well washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups shelled fresh green peas (see Tidbit below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Add the lettuce and mint and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lettuce is very tender.

Stir in the peas, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the peas are tender and the flavors have blended.

Working in 2 batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add the cream and lemon juice and blend. Serve hot.

Tidbit: To get 2 cups of shelled peas, you’ll need to start with about 2 pounds of peas in the pod, so feel free to use frozen peas here (we’ll never tell).