As I’d bought a large bag of frozen petits pois for the previous post I decided to use some in this Pea and Bacon Soup as well. Besides using up several other veg lurking in my cupboard. This recipe has both fresh lemon juice and mint leaves, and difficult to give exact amounts below. Using both won’t be to everyone’s taste so I’m putting them as optional. And with the advice to add less, allow to infuse and add more if it tastes to your liking.
It’s not the most photogenic of soups which is why I’ve gone for such a simple look. Next time I might add a little more stock and rub or pass this through a fine wire sieve as I’m never overly keen on thick soups. Having said that I wolfed this at an alarming speed. Although, second time around this didn’t store as well as I’d hoped. And, sometimes that’s where the textures come into play. If that makes sense.
The one aspect here is – do not over cook your peas. Apparently they’ll turn yellow if you boil them for too long. Who knew. Anyway, prepare the stock and after bringing it to a boil then add the peas and only give enough time to bring the stock back to a boil again. Take off heat, allow to cool sufficiently to liquidise.
If the green of the soup looks quite bright on your screen chances are it’s because I wanted to use up some spinach. The other thing here is cooking in the same saucepan as the bacon. I never normally use the same pan as I’m not keen on the taste of fat. This time around I changed my mind and went with it – most people do. And I’m guessing that might be one of the reasons why I was less keen on this second time around. Will have to go back to how I normally cook and test it out.
Pea and Bacon Soup, with a hint of lemon and mint
- 4 x rashers of either smoked on non smoked bacon – I used smoked as it was in my fridge
- 1 x large shallot (about 120g), peeled and roughly chopped
- 500ml (1.057 pint) x water
- 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- 1/4 x scant teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x level teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to personal taste
- 200g (7.055 oz) x frozen garden peas or petits pois
- 50g (1.764 oz) x spinach, washed
- 1 x thin wedge lemon – optional
- 1 – 3 x fresh mint leaves – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Either pan-fry the bacon with a little oil or grill until nicely golden. For this particular soup I used a large heavy-based saucepan to fry the bacon until crisp. After the bacon was removed I continued to use the same pan. The choice is up to you.
- Put on a heavy-based pan with just enough oil to coat its base on electric heat No 2. Add the shallots and allow to settle. I’d definitely recommend that you allow them enough time to take on a golden glaze as their flavour is so much sweeter. Stir through the occasional time to prevent them from sticking.
- Pour in the water to the other saucepan and add the stock cube and bay leaf. Put on heat No 4 and bring to a boil.
- In the meantime prep the spinach, if using.
- If cooking the peas from frozen then add them to the large saucepan after the stock has come to a boil. Keep on same heat and bring the peas to a boil, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for about 2 minutes. If the peas have been allowed to dethaw then only bring to a boil. You can check them by removing one and checking to see how hot it is. Take off heat, REMOVE THE BAY LEAF and add the spinach.
- When the shallots have taken on a golden colour sprinkle over the cayenne and take off heat. When the stock is cool enough to liquidise add the shallots. Then pour in some of the stock into the pan the shallots were cooked in to grab all of the flavour. Return this stock to the main pan.
- When the spinach has wilted, and if using lemon and mint add these in small quantities before liquidising. When cool enough blitz the soup until smooth, then taste for the flavours of both the lemon and mint. Add more to personal taste.
- Return the soup to a large saucepan and add the bay leaf again. Bring to near boiling point before serving.
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