Thursday, 1 March 2018

Warmth from my freezer


This week we were faced with Siberian weather in London. The city looks beautiful covered in snow but the reality is freezing, slippery walks.

Coming home from my daily chores, all I had in mind was a warm bowl of soup. Luckily my freezer held the most important ingredients for it. Frozen peas and frozen homemade chicken stock. I gathered a few more things from the pantry and … bang! My chunky pea soup was ready in less than 15 minutes.

It was satisfying and nourishing. The chicken broth is not only comforting but it is also very nutritious (check the healthy notes here, where I also explain how to make chicken stock). The peas combined with the basil leaves lend a sweetness to it.

The soup is creamy and delicious. Besides, it’s a pleasure to have this live green bowl in front of me, contrasting with the white scenery outside my kitchen window. 


The ingredients
After cooking the onions, add the leeks and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the peas...
...and the chicken stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
My chunky and creamy pea soup.
Chunky and creamy pea soup

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 leeks
500 g organic frozen peas (or fresh)
500 ml organic chicken or vegetarian stock
20 basil leaves
Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a medium size pan, being careful not to let it burn. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft. Add the leeks, season and cook until they have softened. Add the peas, stir, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer half of the soup to a blender, or food processor, add the basil leaves and whizz until it becomes creamy. Place it back into the pan and stir with the rest of the soup. Season to taste.

Serve with some basil leaves on top and sourdough toast.

A healthy note: Green peas (Pisum sativum) are a source of protein, carbohydrate and dietary fibre. They are a mild laxative. They strengthen the spleen, pancreas and stomach, and harmonize digestion. Peas contain B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin K, potassium, iron and carotenes.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum), also known as holy basil, or Tulsi in India, is well used by traditional healers. In India and Africa, people rub the basil leaves against their skin to repel insects. Basil is loaded with carminatives (gas dispelling phytochemicals) and, like the mint family, basil is traditionally used to settle an upset stomach. Sweet basil is better used as a tea for indigestion, colds, flu, fever, headaches, nausea, cramps, kidney and bladder problems. Its medicinal properties include anti-pyretic (anti-fever), stimulant, diuretic and nervine.

Till next week!
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