Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan, and gently fry the shallots or onion without browning. Add the celery, pea pods (if using), lettuce, cucumber, potatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the celery and potatoes are tender. Add half the herbs, and cook for a few minutes more. Make a purée of the soup in a blender or food processor, and sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the fresh peas and the remaining herbs, and cook until the peas are tender. Season to taste just before serving, and stir in cream if desired.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.