Friday, 11 July 2014

Summer time an' the livin' is easy....


Well, we’ve had a lovely couple of days, weather-wise – the sun has shone and the birds have sung - so what better way to celebrate the summer than chilled pea and lettuce soup...? (Yes, I know, Haagen Dazs cookies & cream ice-cream is the nectar of the Gods but we’re trying to be healthy here, people).

I love soups at all times of the year and this is one of my favourites; besides which, it’s so easy to make!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp vegetable oil
Bunch of spring onions, sliced
2 little gem lettuces
500g shelled fresh or frozen peas
1.2 litres good vegetable stock
6 tbsp crème fraiche (optional)
Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped (plus extra to garnish)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Method:

1.     Heat the oil in a large pan.
2.     Add the spring onions and fry gently on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until soft.
3.     Add the peas, lettuce and stock and bring to the boil.
4.     Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the peas and lettuce are tender.
5.     Allow the mixture to cool slightly, add the chopped mint, then pour into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
6.     Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The soup is delicious served chilled but if you prefer your soups hot, warm it gently in a pan before stirring in the crème fraiche.
Also, it’s vegetarian but you can add some meat or fish protein in the form of parma ham or smoked salmon, snipped into bite-size pieces and sprinkled on the soup just before serving along with the mint garnish.