Saturday, June 09, 2018

Garden Food

I love nothing so much as going out to the veggie garden and bringing in a basket of yumminess - and I didn't really expect yumminess to be a word. Turns out it is. Well, fancy that, as my grandmother used to say. Okay back to the subject which is veggie garden harvesting - and cooking, both of which are equally important after all.

So I currently have a glut of lettuces. This is because I let some go to seed  - I do this regularly with my veggies, either to collect the seeds to store or, as I did with these lettuces, to let them self seed - and they've come up all over the place in my veggie patch.

As you can see in the photo pretty much all the left hand corner is lettuce - plus a border of calendulas, which also self sow like crazy.

They're not the only volunteers. Most of the spring onions you can see have also planted themselves - and I'm very happy for them to do that. The only trouble is they're in something of a glut, too. What to do? Well I settled on pea and lettuce soup - had to buy the peas because mine aren't ready to pick yet but you can't have everything, can you.

I was sure I had a recipe for this many years ago but couldn't find it so I decided to put together my own based on the traditional French way cooking peas and lettuce together as a vegetable and it turned out to be very tasty.

This is what I did - and bear in mind I'm the kind of cook who for the most part doesn't measure much unless I'm baking so most of the measurements are by no means precise.

Lettuce leaves (the outer leaves are fine for this) sliced - about 8 cups in total

6 or so spring onions (you could use any kind of onion really) sliced

3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped

about 30 grs butter

1 kg frozen peas

7-8 cups vegetable stock (I made it with a couple of cubes)

⅔ cup milk powder (I used this because I was short of fresh but you could use 2 cups of fresh milk instead and adjust the amount of other liquid accordingly.)

3-4 sprigs of mint

Black pepper

In a large pot melt the butter and sauté the onions and garlic until soft but not brown. Add the lettuce and cook until soft and wilted. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add the peas and mint and simmer until the peas are soft. Remove from the heat and add a generous grind of black pepper and the milk powder. Blend to a purée and adjust seasoning to taste. I served it with a sizeable dollop of Greek yoghurt but you could use crème fraîche or cream I guess.

Note: This is pretty thick - because that's the way we like our soup - and made around eight large  servings but you could add more stock or milk to thin it down a bit.

Note: I didn't use salt because the stock cubes tend to be salty and I rarely cook with salt anyway.



Harvesting is always a good time to smile.

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Helen V. said...

Yes, one of my very favourite things, Melody Jacobs.

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