Soup instantly brings to mind the colder months of the year, but I think there is something that we are missing out on by restricting it to only being a warm meal. Cold soup can be a fabulous aperitif, an essence that perfectly starts a meal when you are entertaining with a touch of wow factor, but equally can suit when you are wanting something simple and healthy midweek. This recipe combining peas, mint, lettuce and yoghurt leads itself to a beautifully cooling liquid, filled with fresh flavours which delight the taste buds. Whilst it sounds fancy, the reality of creating a cooling summer soup is that with fresh ingredients you are really just adding a blender and then serve.
I was inspired to give this recipe a try because of the memories I have of the cream of tomato soup that I made back in August. The flavour of that soup was perfectly balanced and fresh whilst full of flavour. Heating it actually ruined what was a gorgeous and delicately fresh palate. These flavours seemed like another combination that would lend itself well to being served cold and I was right in that impression. I followed the recipe as described in the magazine and did not find it needed any alterations.
For those of you who are challenging yourselves with a detox or clean eating I think this recipe would suit you your restrictions perfectly if you perhaps replace the yoghurt with a touch of coconut milk. If you are worried about cooking and souping lettuce, don’t be, it doesn’t really show in the flavour more acting to bulk out the texture of the soup. You’d have no idea it was actually in the mixture.
This particular recipe has been sourced from The Australian Gourmet Traveller as part of this month’s The Cookbook Guru.
Chilled Pea, Mint and Lettuce Soup
* sourced from The Australian Gourmet Traveller February 2014
- 1 tbl sp olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 leek, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 500g frozen peas
- 1 baby cos lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (firmly packed) mint leaves, plus a few extra to serve
- 100g thick natural yoghurt, plus extra to serve
- juice of 1 lemon and finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and saute until tender (about 4 minutes). Add half the stock and bring it to the boil. Add the peas and lettuce and simmer until the peas are just tender. This should take about 1-2 minutes and the peas should turn bright green.
Remove the pea mixture from the heat and then scoop out a cupful of the mixture and set to the side to cool. Blend the remaining mixture with the mint, yoghurt, lemon juice and remaining stock until the mixture is smooth.
Place the mixture into the fridge for a minimum of 1/2 hour, along with the pea mixture set to the side. Ideally let this chill overnight for the flavours to combine and meld. Before serving season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with reserved pea mixture, lemon zest, extra mint, yoghurt and a drizzle of olive oil.
This mixture makes 4 serves and will keep for a few days in the fridge.
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