Pea Soup Recipe

COOKUK.CO.UK

KEY POINTS
 Preparation Time: 5 minutes  Cooking Time:  40 minutes
 How Difficult Easy  Freeze?  Yes
 Servings

Four bowls

PEA SOUP - COOKUK NOTES, HINTS AND TIPS
Pea soup is one of easiest of soups to cook and it's also very economical. It can be a bit bland however and the often suggested solution to this is to add  mint, either fresh, dried or or a few spoonfuls of mint sauce. This does liven up the flavours somewhat although mint is not everyone's favourite in a soup.

So, how to liven up a plain pea soup? Ham always goes well with peas and definitely makes an excellent soup. But it then becomes pea and ham soup not pea soup! And the costs do increase considerably with ham as an additional ingredient.

Our solution to livening up pea soup is cheap, easy to cook and definitely does make a difference to both taste and texture. A bowl of croutons with any soup, especially pea soup, transforms it. The only problem with croutons is, do you dunk them, leave them in the soup to soak it up or munch them on the side? That decision we leave to you!. See our croutons recipe here.

The thickness of pea soup is a very personal preference. Some like it thick enough for a spoon to stand up in it, others prefer their soup to be more liquid. The key here is to get the amount of stock correct, less stock gives a thicker soup, more stock gives a thinner, more liquid soup.

STOCK
The choice of stock for our recipes is canned / bottled stock from the shops. They are good quality nowadays and make a difference to any soup. Two other alternatives exist, stock cubes or make your own. Stock cubes are simple, just follow the instructions on the pack.

Making your own stock is far simpler than most people think. Take a large pan and half fill it with whatever vegetables you have to hand. Sprinkle in some dried herbs, salt and pepper and cover with the required amount of water. Simmer lightly for anything from 2 hours to five hors. Drain off the liquid and use as stock. This can be frozen and used when required.

The famous Mrs Beeton came up with four stock recipes many, many years ago which we have translated and updated to be easily understandable. They can be found by clicking here.

INGREDIENTS
The best peas for this soup are those picked from your garden just before cooking. The worst peas are those sold in supermarkets still in their pods. The best solution for those who do not have peas growing in their garden are frozen peas.

Peas deteriorate very quickly when picked and in a matter of hours they will have lost much of their flavour. So the shop bought "fresh" peas are always well-past their best. Those freshly picked from the garden taste quite different.

But frozen peas are a very good alternative because they are frozen very soon after picking - the frozen food companies really have got this down to an art.

Ingredients

350g / 12oz (see cook's notes above)

2 medium onions

50g / 1żoz / 1 tablespoon butter

750ml / 1╝pint vegetable stock (see cook's notes above)

1 teaspoon of dried thyme or mixed herbs

4 tablespoons of olive oil (optional, for onion topping only)

Salt and pepper

COOKING EQUIPMENT
Large pan
Food blender

PREPARATION
Peel, top and tail and finely chop one of the onions.
Peel, top and tail and finely slice the other onion (optional, for onion topping only).

METHOD
 
Add the butter and finely chopped onions (not the sliced ones) to a pan on a medium heat. Fry the onions for about 10 minutes until they have softened but have not yet turned brown.

Add the stock and peas and bring the soup to a boil. Turn down the heat a little and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.

 
If you want to try the onion topping then add the sliced onions and olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Turning every couple of minutes fry them for about 10 minutes until brown.
Place the onions on kitchen paper and pat them dry. Put them to one side and sprinkle them on the soup when you serve it.

 
Add the stock and peas and bring the soup to a boil. Turn down the heat a little and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pout half the soup into a blender and blend for a minute or so. Add the blended soup back to the pan and stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Reheat for five minutes and then serve.
 

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