Pea Soup Two Ways

Pea Soup

I love pea soup. Apart from being easy-peasy (sorry, couldn’t resist) to make, I think it’s also ultra-delicious in all its simplicity. And for those who find this kind of soup a bit sweet, adding fresh coriander (cilantro) and ground ginger changes the soup dramatically and delivers a soup with real oomph.

The humble green pea packs a punch nutrition-wise – it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals among other things (see Nutritional Information). Green peas are also a really low-fat food.

People on extreme calorie-watch think I’ve added cream to my soups when they see them. I find it hard to convince them that although the soups are creamy in texture, there isn’t a drop of cream in them.

I mostly use nothing but vegetables, pulses and either plain water or stock when making vegetable soup. The creamy texture comes from liquidizing the soup once the vegetables are cooked.

Pea soup the traditional way for 4 people:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 shallots, chopped

450g, 1lb, 3 cups, fresh or frozen peas

350ml, 12floz, 1½ cups water or vegetable/chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Optional extras:

Parsley, Feta cheese, smoked salmon or dry-fried Parma ham

1. Place the oil, butter and chopped onion in a pot. Gently fry the onion, stirring, over a low to medium heat until the onion is soft but not brown, 5-7 minutes.

2. Add the peas and the water or stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer. If you are using frozen peas, simmer for about 30 seconds before removing the pot from the heat. If you are using fresh peas, simmer for 5 minutes before removing the pot from the heat.

3. Either use a stick blender to liquidize the soup straight in the pot, or let the soup cool down to room temperature and use a liquidizer. If you think the soup is too thick, just add some more water.

4. Reheat the soup in the pot and season with salt and pepper (I like mine a bit peppery to reduce the sweetness of the peas) - taste to make sure you are happy with the seasoning. Serve the soup with either some chopped parsley, Feta cheese,  pieces of smoked salmon or shredded, dry-fried Parma ham (quickly fry slices of Parma ham in a dry frying pan over a high heat until crisp).

Pea soup with coriander (cilantro) and ginger

Same ingredients as above +

I heaped teaspoon ground ginger

2 handfuls fresh coriander (cilantro) - leaves and stalks separated

Fry the ground ginger and coriander stalks together with the onion. Before liquidizing the soup, add the coriander leaves as well.

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