Making Soup. I think this has to be one of the most satisfying things you can do in a kitchen. Whether its making soup for a special occasion, following a recipe to the letter, or just using up odds and ends to make a comforting bowl of goodness.
I was supposed to go to the gym last night, but it started to rain and it put me off. Instead I went home and got busy in the kitchen whilst I waited for hubby.
First stop after sorting out the tea was to make some soup. Something cheap, but it had to be undoubtedly cheerful. Now that spring has officially sprung, I'm not craving those thick warm, stew like soups of the winter months. I need something zingy and with colour.
And this is where pea and mint soup hits all the spots. Its bright green vibrancy reminds you of the rolling hills outside. The mint adds this amazing freshness and overalls its quite healthy so gives you that boost you need.
However it did mean I had to venture out into the garden in the rain to get some mint. I so much prefer the soft fluffy mint with large downy leaves, to that horrid stuff the supermarkets sell. The leaves on that stuff are almost crunchy and brittle.
My mum and dad used to have the best mint patch in the world. It was roughly a metre square patch by the back door full of mint plants at least a 18 inches high. Magnificent. Anyway I pinched some and after a poor crop last year, I am obviously doing something right as it is popping up all over the place in my one of my raised beds. Last week I had one tiny spike poking through, yesterday there were 3 big plants in the middle of my lettuces, some more showing through the rosemary, and a bit more over in the corner!
I know it bothers some people, and they say if you are planting it in a bed you should put it in a pot first so the roots cant spread, but I love mint and am happy to have as much of it as I can. Especially when summer comes and I need it for my Pimms!
Anyway pea and mint soup is about the easiest and tastiest thing you can make.
Pea & Mint Soup
2 large onions chopped
small knob of butter
splash of olive oil
1kg frozen peas
15g of fresh mint. the soft fluffy kind is best
1 1/2 pints of veg/chicken stock
salt and pepper
1) heat the oil and butter in the pan and add the onions. fry off for 10 minutes until soft
2) add the frozen peas, and stir to coat in the butter/onion. You might need to put the lid on a leave for 5 minutes before you do this, if like me your peas were all stuck together!
3) add the stock, and leave until it comes to the boil
4) take off the heat and blend, I used a hand blender
5) check seasoning, and serve
This recipe makes 5 pints of soup, so perfect for freezing in individual portions for lunches.
I added a swirl of soya cream for the photo but it doesn't really need it to be honest. The peas and mint add such a great flavour that it can carry itself quite easily. The photo does make the soup look a little thin, but that's only because by the time I had finished setting things up the peas had sunk to the bottom. When blending I like to leave a little texture. I don't think this is the sort of soup that suits being really smooth, but its entirely up to you.