Those of you who read this column regularly know that I love nothing more than growing my own veg, cooking it, and then banging on about the results in the pages of City A.M.
Pretty soon I’ll be lusting over peas. Ideally I put them in a soup, but to be honest they’re so delicious they rarely last long enough – I just demolish them straight off the vine.
But when made properly, pea soup is a real superstar dish, with an almost unreal intensity of flavour and colour, and a wonderfully silky texture. The most important thing to remember is to keep the cooking time short if you want to retain that straight-from-the-garden flavour.
And although peas are coming into season, don’t be afraid to buy frozen – they’ll often give you a better result, and in a fraction of the time.
I’ve been getting a lot of trimmings off my home smoked salmon that I flog from my new food truck, so I’ve added some to this recipe.
- 1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
- 1tbls rapeseed oil
- 1.5litres vegetable stock
- 250-300g fresh or frozen peas (reserve a few for garnish)
- A few sprigs of mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Some extra peas, cooked
- A few pieces of smoked or fresh salmon (60-80g)
- Gently cook the leek in the oil until soft. Add the vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the peas and mint, bring back to the boil and simmer for 6-7 minutes.
- Blend the soup in a liquidiser until smooth and strain through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl on iced water. Correct the seasoning if necessary.
- Meanwhile poach the pieces of salmon in water for 30 seconds and drain.
- Pour the soup into chilled soup bowls, add the peas and spoon the salmon on top.