summer pea soup

summery pea and ham soup
A rather nice soup for spring or summer, whether using young sweet peas, floury late summer peas or even frozen peas, (which because they are frozen at source retain their natural sweetness). It is delicious served hot or cold and you can use just about any green herb, such as thyme, chives or even coriander with a bit of green chilli. I stick to mint, which traditionally enhances the English pea.


I recently served this at a drinks party, at room temperature, in shot glasses. It was perfect nibble for a summer party. Later on I discovered one of the guests wielding a ladle in the kitchen and helping himself to more. "I've never had anything like this, Rache. I just can't help myself . . ." I was delighted, although I am convinced it was less to do with my cooking and more to do with using home-made chicken stock!

Serves 4 - 6
Skill level: Easy

ingredients:
600g fresh or frozen peas, or a mixture of both
olive oil
1 x small English onion, finely chopped
1-2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 litre good quality chicken or vegetable stock
10 mint leaves, shredded plus more to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of sugar (optional)

directions:

  1. Gently fry the onion until softened but not browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic, stir, cover and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the peas and stock. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and check the seasoning, which will be dependent on how salty and peppery your stock is.
  5. Add a pinch of sugar and stir. This helps to bring out the natural sweetness of the peas, although you may not need it.
  6. Stir in the shredded mint leaves.
  7. Set aside to cool slightly.
  8. Purée in a food processor or using a blender. (You can also sieve it at this stag for extra smoothness).
  9. Serve either hot or cold, with a small sprig of mint.

tips:

  • Before serving, stir in a swirl of double cream or crème fraiche.
  • Add a splash of white wine or sherry when you add the stock.
  • Top with strips of crisp pancetta, prosciutto o]r serrano ham.
  • Use coriander rather than mint, together with 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped. (Fry the chilli off with the onion and garlic).
  • Garnish with snipped chives.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:42 am

    Yummy. I do this but put lettuce in too, (great for those old green leaves) .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you know, I was going to put lettuce in but . . . I forgot! Doh. I thought it would add to the colour as well as flavour. Next time!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a FABULOUS soup and it's been bookmarked to make very soon! SORRY for the lack of commenting, I have been away so often, but I always love to read your blog and see what is new in the Marmaduke Scarlet world! Karen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really love this soup and will definitely copy your shot glass idea. I added this to my summer soup round up for foodies100.

    ReplyDelete

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