Friday, 10 July 2015

ROYAL GREEN PEASOUP WITH FRESH HERBS



Finally, the extreme heat is gone and the regular autumn-like Dutch summer weather has returned. The wind makes the tree leaves swirl and the sun breaks through the clouds. And, last but not least: the rain is back! I love rain and in the past two weeks I have been yearning for some drops falling from the sky. Especially because of my totally dehydrated kitchen garden with veggies and fresh herbs. I've been watering it like a crazy person and still the rosemary tips are brown and I'm afraid the thyme has actually died. So sad. The parsley on the other hand is growing wild! And so does the mint. Needless to say they play a big part in this Royal Green Peasoup!




The green pea has a very large family. It's a little brother of the capuchin pea, the big green pea, the yellow pea, the gray pea, and the sugar snap. Deep frozen green peas are available all year long. Their fresh season is rather short from may until july. So now's the time to enjoy some fresh green peasoup with herbs that survived the heatwave! 


I call this ROYAL peasoup for two obvious reasons: first is of course the royal flavour combination of green peas and parsley (or cilantro, or mint for that matter). Second reason is the royal nature of the pea. I think you all are familiar with the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1835. In this story the pea is used to test the royal identity of a girl based on her physical sensitivity. A prince falls in love with a beautiful girl but the queen is not convinced the girl is of proper royal offspring. To verify the girl's claims of being a real princess the queen hides a little grean pea under a pile of no less than twenty feather matrasses. The next morning the proud-hearted queen asks the girl if she slept well that night. And as a surprise to all at the breakfast table packed with royal goods the girl laments on and on about some little hard stone in her bed that kept her awake all night long. The queen almost choked in her Eggs Benedict. The prince got on one knee and asked the girl to marry him. They were married in the royal castle and served green peasoup at their wedding.



And this recipe is very feast worthy! A feast full of possibilites! For instance I could have called this recipe 'Green Peasoup with Parsley' but it's just as enjoyable with cilantro, or mint. Just use what's lushly growing in your kitchen garden. If you're in a less royal vibe (or out of green peas), you can easily use pak choi. And if it's too hot outside for hot soup you can serve this recipe as gazpacho just like that. Trust me: it will taste devine. If you want you can decorate this dish up with chicken, cheese or even more peas (see recipe below for suggestions). The only thing you'll really need is a first class blender and two large stockpots.





Recipe Royal Green Peasoup with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:
2 tbsp coconutoil or sunfloweroil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp salt
500 gr green peas, frozen or fresh
40 gr fresh parsley (or cilantro, or mint, or ...)
1 L vegetable broth
juice and zest of 1 lemon
a couple of tablespoons high quality olive oil to taste
a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper to taste

Optional:
Grilled chicken breast
Vegetarian: grilled halloumi on toast
Vegan: roasted chickpeas with paprika

1. Mince garlic, chop unions and prepare optional ingredients.

2. In a large stockpot heat oil and salt and fry onions 5 to 10 minutes until they're golden. Add garlic and cook a couple of minutes.

3. Add 3/4 of the vegetable broth and the green peas. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Add parsley and stir.

4. Pour the soup in a blender and blend the soup on high power. Add more vegetable broth if needed.

5. Pour the soup out of the blender into another pan and repeat with the rest of the soup (because I have a small blender I have to repeat this step 2 or 3 times. If you're so lucky to have a large blender you may have to do this only once).

6. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve the soup hot, lukewarm, or chilled with chicken breast, halloumi or chickpeas. Serve as lunch or main dish (2-3 portions) or as starter (4-6 portions). Have a royal dinner! 

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