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Sunday, 11 May 2014

PEA AND MINT SOUP

Good Morning to you,


Yesterday was a pivotal day in George's life.  It was the day, 50 years ago, that he left home, at the tender age of 14 years, to join the British Army to become a Junior Leader. It was the beginning of many years of adventures for George and do you know, that even after all the years, that same adventurous thread runs through his life today, as George thrives on adventure.

On the 10th May 1964, George said goodbye to his family and travelled by bus, with his father to Newcastle Central Station. There he met  other junior soldiers who were also travelling to Ayrshire, to join their new regiment. George shook his father's hand and said goodbye and he boarded the train to Carlisle. From there he was taken by lorry to his new regiment in Ayrshire.  

We were talking about this yesterday, as it was the 10th May and George said that although he was young, the moment he climbed into the lorry, he knew it was the right decision for him and one which would change his life forever.

As I mentioned, George is still an adventurer  at heart and he so enjoys planning a new adventure.... and that is what he is doing at the moment. In June, Natasha is coming home from India, for a short stay and they are planning to walk  Hadrian's Wall together..... from Carlisle to Newcastle, with stops along the way.  At the moment they are both training, with George walking in the torrential rain we have been experiencing here in the North of England and Natasha walking in the extreme heat in India. They are hoping that when the time arrives, the weather will be kind and they will have a happy balance between the sun and the rain. 

Incidentally, last week George was talking to his Uncle Ted who is 82 years old, about his walk along Hadrian's Wall and Uncle Ted told George that when he was a young lad, he and his friend cycled along the route. We are going to visit him later in the week as we are so looking forward  to hearing more about Uncle Ted's cycling adventure.

So because George is in training, I have been asked not to make any tempting sweet dishes, because he says if I make them, he will not be able to resist them.  So for the next month or so, there will be no sweet dishes on the menu, just savoury.

So with George's request in mind, today I am making,



Pea and Mint Soup.  It is a fresh flavoured soup and the sweetness of the peas are just lovely.  Alright, I  agree, no sweet treats, but a little natural sweetness in a soup is alright.

So it is on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,



Billy Ocean's album, "Tear Down These Walls".  Do you remember "Get Outta My Dreams and Get Into My Car" (oops I wrote "Get Out Of "instead of  Get Outta" and I had to change it) or maybe you will remember the title track to the 1980's film "The Jewel in the Nile", with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito..... "When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going".  I am smiling as I write this, because if I had to label George, I would say "When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going" certainly applies to George.

So when George and I finish our little boogie around the kitchen to, "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car",  it will be time to collect my ingredients together.


INGREDIENTS

800g of frozen peas
1 medium floury potato
3 large spring onions
1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
3 tablespoonfuls of chopped mint
75 ml single cream
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoonful of sugar
1 teaspoonful of sea salt
1 teaspoonful of lemon juice
1 tablespoonful of olive oil

HOW TO MAKE
PEA AND MINT SOUP


Cook the potato in boiling,
salted water.
Drain the water from the pan
and mash the potato.
Set aside.


Remove the outer layer of 
the spring onions
and
slice the spring onions.


Pour 1 tablespoonful of olive
oil into a medium sized pan
and


add the sliced onions.
Cook until the onions are translucent.


Crush the garlic with 1 teaspoonful of sea salt
and
add to the cooked onions.
Cook for 2 minutes


Add the frozen peas to the pan
and cook for 3 to 4 minutes
tossing the peas with the onions and garlic.


Chop the mint and add to the pan.


Add 1 teaspoonful of sugar,
also


the vegetable stock
and the


mashed potato which you set aside.


Add
1 teaspoonful of lemon juice.
Stir the ingredients,
then
bring the ingredients to the boil.
Reduce the heat
and simmer for 4 minutes.

This is where you have a choice.

1st Choice

Blend the soup with a hand held blender
then pass the soup through a sieve
to create a really smooth soup.
 Add cream
and enjoy,

or

2nd Choice

Blend the soup with a hand held blender
and do not pass through a sieve.
I tend to go with this choice, because
it seems a shame to lose all that goodness.
I do not add cream, I just drizzle
a little when I am serving the soup.
and we do enjoy.


But the choice is yours.

As I mentioned before, this is a lovely, fresh tasting soup and with the addition of the chopped mint, not too overpowering. Often we eat this Pea and Mint Soup cold in the summer months.

I do not buy frozen foods, although I do realise their is a place for them, but there is one frozen food which I love and that is frozen peas and they are perfect for Pea and Mint Soup.  There is a lovely sweetness to the pea which I enjoy.

Oh yes, just in case you are wondering, I am not walking with Natasha and George along Hadrian's Wall as it is "father and daughter" time..... they will have so much fun being in each others company. 

During the weekend that Natasha is here, it will be Father's Day, which will make it even more special.  George is thrilled that he will have the company of both his daughters for Father's Day, as Danielle is also flying to Newcastle to spend the weekend with us. What a fabulous day George will have, as he has not spent Father's Day with our lovely daughters for about 10 years due to us all living in different parts of the world...... now Father's Day will be something wonderful to write about.

..... and there is something else.... it will be time to go and hear Dolly Parton sing.... I cannot wait.

So take care and I will be with you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,







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