Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Minted Pea Soup with Mint Pesto Crostini

I made this last Thursday for a dinner party and it was a huge hit with the punters. I think I’ll do it again.

Soup is such a great starter if you are having a dinner party; it can be made way ahead, it doesn’t ruin if people turn up late (a very common occurrence in Dubai) and it’s easy to get into bowls and to serve.

I like my soups thick and creamy and although this might look like it belongs in the winter warmers category it has a really light and summery taste. This recipe is really worth giving a go.

You will need:

(for the soup)

50g butter
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 large leek, washed, trimmed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into smallish dice
½ tsp curry powder (or garam masala)
500ml good quality chicken stock
200g frozen peas
200g crème fraiche
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

(for the pesto)

A good sized handful of fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 clove garlic peeled
20g fresh grated parmesan
4 tbsp EV olive oil
1 French baguette loaf

And then you need to:

Melt butter in large saucepan and add onion, garlic, leek and the potato. Throw in some sea salt. Cook, covered for about ten minutes over a lowish heat until the vegetables are slightly softened.

Add the curry powder and give it a good stir. Add the peas and the stock and give it another stir.

Cook, covered, at a slow simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour into a food processor, add the crème fraiche and the mint leaves. Whizz until a smooth texture is achieved.

Pour back into the saucepan and when ready to eat heat through over a low heat until very gently bubbling.

Whilst all this is going on make up the mint pesto.

Put the mint leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and whizz. Add the grated parmesan, some seasoning and with the motor running slowly add the olive oil. Scrape out into a bowl and put in the fridge.

Cut four thin slices on the diagonal from the baguette and put on a baking ttray. Place in hot oven for about 10 mins, turning them over after five minutes. Don’t forget to put on the timer!

When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Spread a good dollop of the pesto onto each crostini and gently place on top of the soup.


hnd said...

Sounds like it would be good chilled, too - like Vichysoisse.

halfmanhalfbeer said...

HND, I think you are absolutely right, it would be great chilled!

Good idea.