I have to admit, I never really ‘got’ pea soup – I always
found it a bit too bland and a bit too sweet. But I do really like peas, so recently
I thought I’d have a go at reinventing it to my tastes, with a spicy kick and a
bit of feta to punch up the flavours, and I’m pretty happy with the results.
1 tbsp hot chilli sauce (optional)
To start, pop a generous scoop of butter into a large
heavy-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, and leave it to melt. Peel and finely
chop the garlic and add to the pan, and while that sizzles, chop the onion and
the courgette and add those too. Fry for about ten minutes, stirring regularly,
until the vegetables are nicely softened. Then add the peas (no need to
defrost) and the chilli, and fry for another five minutes.
Next, make up the chicken stock (I like to use chicken
stock because I think it rounds out the flavours, but by all means use
vegetable stock if you prefer) and pour into the pan. Bring to the boil, then
turn the heat down and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes, until the peas
are really soft. Now you can take the pan off the heat and use an immersion
blender until the soup is smooth, silky and a beautiful delicate shade of
Return the pan to the heat and season with a pinch of
salt, a dash of lemon juice and a tablespoonful of hot sauce – this last bit is
optional if you’re really not into spicy things, but I think it really works with
the sweetness of the peas. Have a taste to check it’s all fabulously delicious
(you might need to add a pinch more salt at this point) and then serve
straightaway, with feta crumbled on top.