Pea soup with feta and mint
For the past few years, I have picked and tried some of Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute meals after downloading the app for the Ipad. The meals don’t take actually only 20 minutes, but anyhow they are pretty fast to make.
So there’s this soup that my husband loves and every of our guests that served it too, a comforting, warming, perfect for the winter time. Even my 20-months old daughter loves this.
Starting from the original recipe, I adjusted the quantities and added the bacon as garnish and below is my way of cooking. It is a nice versatile soup, the quantities below are for orientation, you can adjust everything by taste and it will still be delicious and colorful in your mouth.
2 knobs of butter
2 sticks of celery
1 large onion
1 large potato or 2 medium potatoes
400 gr frozen peas
1 liter of vegetable stock (at Keylife in Pta Amzei I have found non-artificial vegetable stock that I use only when I have to). 2 cubes for 1L of water
50 ml double cream ( keep some extra to garnish the plate)
2 sprigs of fresh mint
3 slices of bread cut in cubes as croutons (it might be whatever bread you like- white, wholewheat.. I use the campagrain from Rue du Pain)
Feta cheese (I use Olympus goat cheese) cut in cubes
4 slices of bacon (or Prosciutto)
Sea salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil
In a pan add a splash of olive oil and the butter and leave to melt. Stir the chopped onion and celery into the pan and add a splash of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.
Put the bacon on the preheated griddle pan on the hob. If you do not have a griddle pan, preheat the oven at 180C and place the bacon on baking paper. Cook it for about 10 minutes or until browns evenly and cook to desired crispness. Remove and let cool slightly. Break the bacon up into pieces and set aside.
Meanwhile heat the vegetable stock and bring it to a gentle simmer over a medium heat.
Peel the potato, then grate it and add it to the simmering stock.
For the croutons: cut the bread in cubes and cook it in melted butter and a splash of oil until golden and crisp. There is always the healthy way: toast the bread in the toaster and then cut it in cubes.
In a mixing bowl toss the croutons, crumble in the feta cubes and tear the mint leaves (discard the stalks) with a lug of olive oil and mix. Add the cooked bacon to this mix.
Add the peas to the pan of softened vegetables, cook for 3 minutes, then carefully pour the stock mixture into the pan and bring everything to the boil.
Stir the cream into the soup and cook for 5 minutes. Take the pan of the heat and whiz with the hand blender until smooth. For a silky texture I strain the mixture through a sieve.
Taste your soup and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the soup in the serving bowl and sprinkle a handful of your crouton mixture over each bowl of soup. Garnish with some oil and double cream for a better taste and visual effects. And enjoy!