Saturday, September 5, 2009
Easy-peasy (mainly peasy)
Pea-soup is something that is quite common in Estonia and a part of the traditional national cuisine. It is made from dried peas with smoked pork, it's very thick, usually grey-ish looking stuff that doesn't look too appetizing, but doesn't taste all that bad. It's served during Mardi Gras (Vastlapäev).
But there are these lovely fresh peas, the last of them, still available at the markets. So I was craving for something much more vibrant, fresh and well ... summery. So I decided to make a different kind of pea-soup.
Pairing mint with peas is something one would never do in the realms of Estonian cooking. But having watched plenty of Nigella shows (who seems to have some sort of a semi-erotic relationship woth frozen peas) and read tons of Good Food and Olive magazines, I came to this (as I understand, thoroughly British) idea quite easily. So I returned from the market with 1 kg of fresh green peas and three (the lady who was selling them went for the 'Oh such a lovely baby, well take all three bunches, they're the last I have, I'll give them cheap, oh such a cute baby' monologue, so I could do nothing but buy three) bunches of fresh mint (most of which ended up as tea).
And here's what they ended up as.
Fresh green-pea and zucchini soup with mint (Rohelise herne ja suvekõrvitsasupp mündiga):
1 kg of fresh green peas (in their shells)
1/2 of a large-ish zucchini
1 tsp ground coriander
some fresh mint leaves (about 10 leaves or tips of 3 sprigs)
1 cube of organic chicken stock
4 cloves of roasted garlic
sour cream or creme fraiche for serving
Shell the peas (or don't of you're using frozen pre-shelled ones, I'm jsut unable to estimate the quantity of the shelled peas as I had 1 kg of them with shells).
Peel and cube the zucchini.
Boil about 1.5 l of water and add the chicken stock cube.
When it's dissolved, add the peas, the zucchini and the coriander and boil on medium heat until they're tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Add the roasted garlic (I find that it's good to roast up spare ones whenever I'm doing oven-roasted veggies and then store them in the fridge for a little while) and the fresh mint. Let it cool a little and then blitz into a smooth puree.
Serve with a twirl of sour cream of creme fraiche.
It's lovely (I suddenly started thinking if it's bad foodie-etiquette to keep saying that on my own blog about my own food :). Peas really do go well with mint (and coriander). And it's such a light, energyzing thing to have for lunch.