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Petits Pois a La Francaise



2 oz. butter
16 small white pearl onions
1 small iceberg lettuce, thickly chopped
1 tsp. caster sugar
1/4 pint vegetable stock
1 lb. fresh peas
2 tbsp. creme fraiche
2-4 stalks fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste


Gently heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions and lettuce. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onions and lettuce soft but not coloured. If the pan gets too hot just add a little vegetable stock.
Pour in the vegetable stock and add the caster sugar, bring to the boil and continue to cook on a fast boil for a further 3 minutes. Taste and season with a salt and black pepper.
Add the fresh or frozen peas to the stock with the onions and lettuce. Cook over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes for the fresh peas or 5 minutes for the frozen peas - or until they are cooked through, but NOT mushy; they should still retain their vibrant green colour and have a "bite" to them.
Just before the end of the cooking time - add the creme fraiche and gently mix; allow to heat through for about 1 to 2 minutes. Check the seasoning once more and adjust to taste.
Serve immediately with the sprigs of fresh mint on top.