It occurred to me this morning that a loving relationship hasn’t yet been fostered between soup and I this year. By and large soup is seen as something warming, hearty and intended for the colder months of the year. However, it should be remembered that one can make a delightful soup out of almost anything and that there are some rather extraordinary warm-weather recipes out there. The combination of pea and mint is one that has been explored here already this year and it is clear to see why. The peas and mint work wonderfully well together, with the former providing the first breath of taste – a flavour which reminds one instantly of an English walled garden – and the latter lingering on in order to tempt the next spoonful into one’s mouth. Indeed, two such beautifully fresh ingredients were made for such a dish.
I spent last week in Aylesbury, visiting my girlfriend (there you go, Rosemary). However, last Sunday she found herself involved in the popular and rather comically named, Tour de Vale (a 55 mile bike ride around Aylesbury). So, while she was out enjoying herself I decided to take my camera for a stroll, not on a lead you understand, to take some photos of the local wildlife. Unfortunately, this story isn’t leading to anything particularly exciting, unless you have a strange fetish for either the common mallard or Canadian goose. If that’s the case, such perversions are not welcome here. Still, you may enjoy this wonderful, seasonal soup.
Creamy Garden Pea and Mint Soup
• 600g garden peas
• 100g spring onions, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
• 600ml vegetable stock
• Olive oil
• 75ml double cream
• Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Fry the onions in a healthy glug of olive oil. Once translucent, add the garden peas and stir for a minute or two. Add the stock and mint and cook for a further few minutes.
2. Once the peas are cooked through blend the soup until very fine indeed. Stir in the double cream, season to taste and bring back up to temperature – do not allow it to boil rapidly. Serve with bread and garnished with a little more chopped mint.
Cost: Ingredients like these are incredibly cheap, particularly when one’s mint grows jolly quickly. The only real extravagance here is the double cream and one could happily use half-fat crème fraîche in lieu of it. Indeed, this soup should set one back a mere £2 and takes no more than 15-20 minutes from start to finish.