It was a simple choice: eat my words or eat the contents of my freezer.
What happened, you see, was that Love Food magazine, published with yesterday’s Irish Independent, had included a little piece from me on tips for Christmas (ah, yes, fame at last! – even if it did miss out on my current top tip, which is to head over here for a shot at a free box of Tayto crisps).
Exciting indeed to see my words in actual newsprint but, having urged everyone in the country to fill their freezers with mince pies and the like, I had a weeny problem on that front myself. My freezer bore one of those looks that said “defrost me now, or else…”.
I had been
trying vaguely attempting to clear the freezer for months now. No sooner had one lot of frozen comestibles been used up, than another magically appeared to take its place. At times it felt like hell might freeze over before the plug got pulled on my own frozen-over fridge.
However, knowing that the deed had to be done before I loaded up with Christmas fare, I bit the bullet and, for about a week, dined on whatever the freezer had to offer. This pea and mint soup, brought to you by a bag of frozen peas, some frozen chickpea stock and frozen ginger, was definitely one of the better things to result.
Please Defrost Me Pea and Mint Soup
You should remind me to make this again, sometime when it doesn’t also involve defrosting the freezer.
It is, of course, a variant of a classic soup – why even Mrs Beeton includes a pea and mint soup in her Book of Household Management, dating back to 1861. For stock, I actually used water saved from cooking chickpeas (I often reserve and freeze liquid in which I’ve boiled veg or beans as the basis for future soups and gravies).
- oil for frying
- 1 small red onion, about 100g, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, about 50g, finely sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp grated fresh (or frozen) ginger
- 1 small-ish potato, about 150g, cut into roughly 1cm cubes
- about 600ml water or light veg stock (I used water saved from cooking chickpeas)
- 350g frozen peas (or fresh peas, shelled)
- 1 tsp salt or to taste (less if stock is well salted)
- 4 tblsp loosely packed chopped mint
You’ll also need:
- A blender or food processor for blending the soup – an immersion blender, if you have one, is the handiest.
- Place a large, heavy saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add a couple of tblsp of oil to coat the bottom of the saucepan. Add the onion and celery. Stir and fry for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion has softened.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Stir and fry for about another minute.
- Add the potatoes. Stir to combine and add the stock or water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
- Add the peas and bring back to a boil. Simmer until the peas are cooked through. This may only take a couple of minutes (I found that by the time the frozen peas had come back to the boil, they only needed about 2 minutes more). Add salt to taste.
- Add the mint, stir through. Remove from the heat and puree using a blender. Reheat gently if needed.
- Serve with a blob of yoghurt or sour cream and garnish with more mint if you like.
- You could raise the heat level of the soup by adding more ginger and/or some fresh green chili.
- Soup for 3-4