Sunday, October 28, 2012

Green Pea and Mint Soup

Let's admit it, most of us dislike green peas when we're young. At least that's what I have come to believe growing up in Hong Kong. Green peas often appear in fried rice, and almost every child on the table patiently forks them out of the rice and pushes them aside, followed by a stream of begging, reasoning and warning from the parents, all to deliver the message that "you have to eat your vegetables".

Of course I like green pea soup now, but it has already captured my heart since childhood when I did not even appreciate green peas. It was a real school-lunch treat from my mom who usually bought it for me from Oliver's Super Sandwiches. This soup is hearty, comforting and it makes me happy! Usually the green peas are paired with bacon bits but I  have paired mine with mint for a healthier twist.

Green Pea and Mint Soup
(adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe, note that I have skipped the celery)
(servings: 6)
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- a small scoop of butter
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, diced (you may use less, but I am a huge fan of garlic!)
- 5 cups of frozen peas
- 6-8 cups of chicken stock
- a handful of mint leaves
- full-fat cream

1. In a large, heated pot, add olive oil and butter. Saute the onions, garlic and carrots over medium fire. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the ingredients, especially the carrots start to appear soft. The onions should be translucent and golden-brown by then.
2. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the vegetables and let it boil.
3. Once it boils, add in the frozen peas and let it boil for again. 
4. Once it boils, turn down the fire a bit and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes. 
5. Switch off the fire. Set aside to cool.
6. When the soup reaches room temperature, pour it into your blender. Also throw in the mint leaves and start blending! Blend until the soup appears quite smooth and creamy. Don't worry about achieving 100% smoothness after all the little bits of mushy peas are what improve the texture and make the soup yummy!
7. Transfer the blended soup into your pot again and add in chicken stock little by little (and stir at the same time) until you reach the consistency you want. You may also add in a little of cream for that extra bit of creaminess and rich dairy aroma. 
8. Keep tasting the soup and do your final touches with some salt and pepper!

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