A Real Pea Soup
Posted on 22nd February 2023 at 15:04
You know those days when you have to rustle up some food but there's nothing left in the fridge or larder? Make this delicious soup from scratch in less than 20 minutes.
This delicious pea soup is one of my go-to recipes when I open the fridge and find that all I have left is a knobbly bit of ginger and a few spring onions or baby leeks. That's because I always have a bag of peas in the freezer, so even on a 'cupboard is bare' day I can rustle up some proper food in under 20 minutes.
There are loads of recipes online for pea soup, mostly starting out by melting oil in a pan and sauteeing some onions. I don't see the point, a pea soup is delicious when the vegetables are just simmered. I also don't see the point in using stock. Commercial stock cubes primarily consist of table salt which should be avoided at all costs if you care about your health. Further down the ingredient list you'll find sugar and caramel syrup, a few cheap oils and maltodextrin, a highly processed preservative with no nutritional value but a whole host of detrimental side effects. Too many to list here but bloating and gastrointestinal issues and suppression of good gut bacteria are just some of the important ones. More 'natural' stocks or bouillons at least contain sea salt rather than table salt but they are also likely to be made with hydrolysed vegetable protein (from soya), which is a chemically- processed form of MSG, and lactose (milk). So, out with those and in with plain old water and some Celtic sea salt.
A pea soup recipe is so versatile. The one I made for lunch yesterday consisted of 375ml water boiled and turned down to a simmer, some chopped root ginger, a few chopped up baby leeks and some sliced fennel, plus 225g of frozen peas (seriously though I didn't weigh out the ingredients). Peas and water are the only ingredients you actually need so be creative with the 'extras'. Fresh mint is always a good addition but put it in at the end for a really zingy, minty flavour. Toasted cumin seeds work well and dried ginger will do if you don't have fresh. Spring onions, leeks and shallots are interchangeable, garlic can be a bit strong. Put everything in a saucepan and simmer with a good pinch of sea salt for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and blend together with a stick blender. Taste and add some more sea salt and black pepper if required plus a squeeze of lime or lemon or some yuzu juice (Asian citrus fruit juice, great to keep in the fridge as a flavouring if you don't have fresh lime or lemon to hand, but expensive).
The above quantities make 2 servings and it is generally better the next day when the flavours have had time to develop. I topped mine with some chili olive oil and a few pea shoots for extra nutritional value. It's such a light soup that having bread or oat cakes with it is a bit stodgy. Sweet potato wedges on the side work well though or some chopped up veg - carrots, peppers etc if you have them.
Peas are a great source of vegetable protein, rich in calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, zinc and iron. Perfect fast food.
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