Last Wednesdays event at the Our Sustenance greenhouse marked the end of the most recent instalment of Healthy Roots. I was asked to prepare some tasty seasonal food for the event. Even with the unseasonal amount of rain we’ve been having there were still a lot of fresh local ingredients to cook with. It was a perfect opportunity to showcase what may not obviously be simple yet delicious and nourishing food.
One of my favourite snacks walking through the garden is eating peas straight off the vine. Whether the pods are young and crisp or fully grown and sweet, they always put a smile on my face. Freshly picked is always best in my opinion, their wonderful flavour degrades quickly. In the absence of very fresh peas, flash frozen is acceptable because they don’t spend much time off the plant before being frozen.
This weeks recipe shows how accessible it is to prepare simple and refreshing food using a few simple ingredients.
Chilled Pea Soup
- Fresh shelled peas (frozen is ok if fresh are not available)
- Fresh Mint Leaves
- Garlic (Scapes work well if you have them)
- Sunflower Oil
Bring lightly salted water to a boil, cook peas until tender. When done, immediately strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Shock peas in ice water or very cold water to stop the cooking and set the green colour.
In the same pot heat on medium and add sunflower oil, sweat onions until translucent and tender, you do not want them to brown. Lower heat if necessary. Add garlic (scapes) and cook until soft. Add some pea cooking liquid and bring to the boil. Cook until everything is very soft. When you turn off the heat add your fresh mint leaves.
You now have two options: 1. Add some ice to completely chill the liquid or 2. Let cool completely on its own.
Add some of the liquid to the peas and puree with a blender or stick blender until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer. Continue until you have your desired consistency. I prefer mine fairly thin. Chill before serving. Garnish with pea shoots and/or a dollop of fresh cream.