VAIDA'S PEA SOUP
I created this recipe for the celebration of peas at Global Gardens. Even though the pea season was coming to an end, we managed to find some peas that were still good, and full of summery sweetness. We cooked the soup on an open fire - a very therapeutic experience as the vegetables and hardy thyme sizzled in the pot, releasing their wonderful aromas. When the soup was done we all shared it sitting in a circle together, enjoying the surroundings of the garden on a lovely summer’s day.
Green peas and a mixture of herbs make the soup summery and light. It’s a nice one to look at too - you can see all the vegetables and greens chopped finely floating in your bowl.
The herb mixture was inspired by a North African sauce called Chermoula, which is spicier than the one I made, as it usually includes chilli. I added dill to the mix, a brilliant summery herb that deserves more attention than it gets.
The recipe draws a lot of inspiration from the book ‘Herb/a cook’s companion’ by Mark Diacono, which contains lots of great tips and recipe ideas for using herbs.
Summer Pea soup
Serves 2-4 people
For the herb sauce:
A handful of chopped coriander
A handful of chopped parsley
A handful of chopped dill
1 garlic clove diced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked cumin
Sea salt to taste
For the soup:
1 onion, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks diced
1 small courgette, or a half of one large courgette
2-3 handfuls of peas
Start by making the herb sauce. If you like, you can as can make a bigger batch as it keeps well in the fridge.
Chop the coriander, parsley and dill finely. Mix in garlic, cumin and paprika, sea salt, lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil. It all has to be drowning in oil, but adjust it to your preference of how oily you like your food.
Next we make the soup. Heat a bit of oil in the pan and once it’s sizzling- add chopped onions, carrots and celery, a few sprigs of thyme and salt. These veg make up the flavour base of the soup. Saute the veg until softened, and slightly browned, but not burned - that will give the soup a bit more flavour. This might take around 10 minutes.
Add about a litre of water to it and bring to boil. When vegetables are half way done, throw in diced courgettes, and a couple of minutes later - fresh peas (froze ones will work too). Cook until it’s just done, around 2-3 minutes, and the peas are still green.
Dollop a good tablespoon of the herb sauce in the bowl and then add the soup. Stir. Enjoy.