Although we’ve been blessed with a mild winter, I was craving some kind of comfort food. I wanted something creamy, smooth on the palate, quite fast and easy to prepare, as well as highly appeasing.
I set for a bowl of tasty soup to hold in my hands and eat on the couch while relaxing after a stressful day.
It had been a grey, rainy day; everywhere I turned people were repeating again and again “we needed rain, we hardly had any rain this winter!”, and although I knew they were right, I didn’t care, I never liked rain. At work the time had passed slow and uneventful; my feet were wet from the unavoidable puddles my boots had stepped in, I had the “humid” chills and the train ride back home had seemed longer than usual. Moreover, trying to talk to my husband on the phone had been extremely difficult, due to time differencies and line problems. Really, the kind of day when you need a warm hug and an amicable smile (after you’ve put warm socks on your feet).
The idea of a soup came to mind almost immediate (at just a tiny distance from “chocolate”, which was my first thought, but being supper time I decided to go for a healthy and appropriate meal 😉 ).
I had a jar of organic peas and some soy cream, perfect starting point to create a velvety Cream of Pea Soup. All the other ingredients were added according to taste and what I had in my pantry and fridge. In less than 30 minutes I was enjoying my soul food of the day.
I sautéed minced shallot and garlic in butter, then added the peas and ginger with a pinch of salt and a grating of black pepper. I covered it in vegetable broth and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. In the meantime I cut the kamut bread in cubes and tossed it in the pan with a pat of butter until golden and crispy. Right after that, I puréed the soup with the soy cream until I felt it was just the right consistency. When I poured it in the bowls, I had fun with the toppings. Walnuts and kamut crostini for the sweet, nutty and buttery crunch, cranberries for the sweet and tangy chewiness, pinch of dried basil for an additional level of flavor, splash of soy cream for contrasting color and extra smoothness.
You can choose regular bread and switch to whipping cream (or half and half cream). Or if you want to make it vegan replace the butter I used for sautéeing the vegetables and toss the bread with extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter.
It is a quick, filling and flavorful recipe to be made in the busy weekdays and that will help you use up some of the ingredients that are sitting in your fridge and pantry.
I arranged two bowls, only for shooting necessity, being alone I only needed one. The second one became my lunch in a tupperware for the next day. Even cold was good!
After dinner, a rough kitchen clean-up, the usual Skype chat with my hubby, some innocuous channel surfing on the couch and I was ready to call it a day.
Here’s to my meatless Mondays and the rest of the week as well 😉 .
Song of the day: “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin, a marvellous classic.
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1/2 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 250 g canned or frozen peas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
- 400 ml vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 1 slice of gluten-free bread (I used Kamut)
- 75 ml vegetable cream (I used soy cream)
- pinch dried basil
- Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in a pan over low medium heat and sautée the shallot and garlic.
- Add the grated ginger and the peas, salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with the vegetable broth (leave some), bring it to a boil then lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Chop the walnuts and mix with the dried cranberries. Set aside.
- Cut the bread in cubes. In another pan heat 1 Tbsp of butter and cook the bread turning it often in order to get it golden and crispy. Remove from the pan, let the cubes drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- Purée the pea soup in a mixer with the vegetable cream, adding a bit more vegetable broth, if too dense, or putting it back on the stove for a little longer, if too runny.
- Place in a bowl. Sprinkle with walnuts and cranberries, swirl a little more cream and dust with the dried basil. Top with the crostini and enjoy!
Legumes provide good quality protein, minerals and vitamins, They are rich in energy-giving carbohydrates, with a low glycemic index rating for blood glucos control and are abundant in fibre.
Ricetta in italiano: