More flavor than you can imagine from a simple bag of frozen peas.
In 1912, my London-born maternal grandfather emigrated to Canada. He arrived on St Patrick’s Day and some times I wonder what he might think of the rowdy revelries that headline festivities nearly a century later. He loved a party: he’d likely have thought he’d reached the Promised Land!
Grampa Shingleton was a foodie of the first sort, enjoying simple food cooked well and the pleasure of gathering ‘round the table with family and friends.
To delight kids and grown-ups alike, this week serve an All-Green St Patrick’s Supper that includes a Very Green Salad, spinach topped with green pepper and broccoli bits and, oh dear, green goddess dressing. Dessert? That would be Mean Green Gelatin, lime jello with green grapes.
VERY VERY GREEN GREEN-PEA SOUP
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 6 cups
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 – 4 cups homemade or canned (2 14-ounce cans) chicken broth
- 20 – 30 ounces frozen green peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a four-quart Dutch oven over medium high and melt butter. Add onion and ginger and sauté until soft. Stir in cardamom and let cook for a minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add peas and simmer, uncovered, until very tender, about 10 minutes. In batches, purée in blender until very smooth, about a minute per batch. (For safety with hot liquids, fill blender no more than half full.) Return soup to pan and season liberally with salt and pepper. Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Freezes well.
Serving Idea: Top each bowl with a soft-poached egg.
I've since learned that the metal, cone-shaped device I love (and that's mentioned above) is called a chinois and is available in good kitchen stores and online at Amazon. If you have one, great, but a very very smooth soup can be achieved simply by letting the blender run for a good minute or so with each batch of hot liquid.
Hot liquids can 'explode' when you put them into a blender. The best case is that the liquid spurts all over your kitchen, a real mess to clean up. The worst case is that you or others nearby are burned by the hot liquid. This is why extra care must be taken. Here's how to blend hot liquids safely. Even if you've done it many times, this is one time to pay particular attention, to take special care.
Fill the blender no more than half full, even a third full. (This is the most important step.)
Put the lid firmly in place, then place a towel over the top. With one hand, firmly hold the lid tight onto the blender.
With the other hand, select the lowest power setting. As the blender starts, use both hands to hold the top of the blender on tightly.
Transfer the blended liquid to another container, then repeat the process with the remaining hot liquid.
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~ Be Very Careful with Hot Liquids in a Blender ~
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