Well that was another miserable Spring Bank Holiday weekend; cloudy, cold and uninviting generally. Something had gone wrong with my quartermastering and I opened the fridge yesterday to unused fresh peas and fresh broccoli. Perhaps I should call this blog the aspiring watchful cook, as there are times when I get things wrong, but I guess now the difference is that I do something edible with the excess, rather than just throwing it away. Anyway, peas and broccoli: we’d already had risotto over the weekend, so my default soup making inclination kicked in. It was also another miserable day, not just grey and cold but absolutely chucking it down; I was drenched when I went out, so the comforting process of soup making seemed just right for the day – honestly if it wasn’t for leaves on the trees, you’d have thought it was November.
In terms of ingredients here, use what you have; I had the ordinary broccoli, but you could use sprouting and you can use frozen peas, too, but add them just before you add the stock, rather than sweating them in the butter and oil. I used both chives and flat leaf parsley as I had fragments that needed using up; I did think about mint and if this had just been a fresh pea soup, I think that would have been good, but I was wary about the combination of mint and broccoli. It also occurred to me afterwards that if I had had left over pancetta or prosciutto, that could have been crisped up and added as a topping, but I didn’t so I didn’t, if you see what I mean!
Spring SoupPrint Recipe
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
- olive oil
- unsalted butter
- 200g fresh peas, rinsed and podded if necessary (mine came podded already)
- 1 head of broccoli, broken into small florets
- 0.75 ml vegetable stock (as usual, Marigold or Kallo is fine and if you have pods, let them steep in the hot stock for a while to boost the flavour)
- salt and freshly milled pepper
- cream, yogurt or creme fraiche
- chives or flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
In a thick based pan or casserole, heat about 1tbsp each of olive oil and butter, add finely chopped onion and garlic
Sweat over a low to medium heat without colouring until they are soft and fragrant
Add the broccoli and mix around until well coated with the oil and butter mixture, add the peas and cook gently for two or three minutes
Add the hot stock, partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes
When the soup has reduced by about 20% and the broccoli and peas are soft, allow to cool slightly, blend to a consistency that pleases you and adjust the seasoning
Serve in warm bowls, stir in your dairy of choice and top with herbs.
Scrumptious with the simple wholemeal bread posted elsewhere on this site.