Unfortunately, until now university and other general life things have gotten in the way of both my cooking time and my writing time. However, exams are over now and with the summer approaching and all the new opportunities that it brings I'm committed to getting back to some serious cooking, eating, and prattling.
... and Pimms drinking. I love Pimms.
Now that we've dealt with that little life update shall we get back to the important stuff? Yes, let's...
A few months ago, I made the decision to truly make myself suffer during lent. I always get that idea around mid-February, when I've well and truly given up on my New Year's Resolutions and am feeling heartily ashamed of myself. This year, I thought that it would be a good idea to give up meat. and booze. and biscuits.
Those who know me know that I am most definitely of the carnivorous persuasion, and that I like a drinky and a biccie from time to time. So this was looking like it was going to be a challenge. And it was.
But I'm very glad I did it. Without having chicken or pork or beef to depend on for dinner most nights, I had to think a lot more about how to get all my nutrients and how to make meals that would fill me up and taste good.
One recipe that does all the above (and is perfect for our wonderful summer weather) is to be found below. I hope you enjoy it.
Pea and Mint Soup (adapted from a recipe by Sophie Dahl)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 small spring onions, roughly chopped (you can substitute this for a medium sized onion if you absolutely must, but I find it has a harsher taste)
3 cups/1 lb/450 g frozen or fresh peas
4 cups/32 fl oz/1 l vegetable stock
A handful fresh mint, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and then fry the spring onions for about 3 minutes. Add the peas and stir well to coat them in the oil.
2. Add the mint and the stock and cook for 10-15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a blender and whizz it all up. You could always use a handheld mixer if that's all you have but you'd probably have to do it in batches.
3. You can either garnish with mint and serve hot, or put it in the fridge to cool before serving. Miss Dahl suggests swirling in 1 tbsp of crème fraîche, but I object to soups that are too creamy so I omitted it.