Soup Recipes | Pea and Asparagus Soup

Pea and Asparagus Soup

This is one of the simplest soup recipes and one that everyone I’ve made it for absolutely raves about! Sometimes the simplest recipes really are the best…and this one is truly, gloriously good (even if I do say so myself)!

Soup Recipes | Pea and Asparagus Soup
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins
Serves: 8
Approx. calories per serving: 140

Ingredients

  • 2 big bunches of fresh asparagus spears (approx. 750g)
  • 1 medium bag (900g) of frozen peas or petits pois
  • Boiling water
  • 2 x Stock cubes (I personally like using Knorr Chicken Stockpots – but that’s just my personal preference.  Any chicken or, if feeding vegetarians, vegetable stock cubes will work)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
  • 40g Fresh butter

Method
 

Chop the asparagus spears into approximately 1cm lengths, but keep the pointy ends plus maybe one or two extra cuts’ worth separate to use later.
Melt 30g of butter in a medium/large stockpot, then add the bulk of the chopped asparagus (NOT the ends you’ve reserved on one side!) and turn the heat up.  Add salt to taste and stir.
After about a minute or so, add the frozen peas, stir and grate in a sprinkling of fresh nutmeg.
Cover with boiling water (only to about 1cm above the solid ingredients).
Add stock cubes/pots.
Bring to the boil and boil until peas and asparagus are cooked (approx. 5 mins); the softer the peas, the smoother the soup, so this is down to personal preference how long you cook it for. Taste the stock during the cooking process and add either salt or another stock cube/pot (or part of one) if it requires more seasoning.
Turn the heat off and leave to cool for a few minutes, then process in a food blender (I find it easiest to use a hand blender you can simply place into the pan…if you use a jug-style blender while the soup is still hot, make sure you leave the centre opening in the lid OPEN and use a folded tea-towel to cover it, allowing steam to escape without the lid flying off!)
In a separate pan, fry off the asparagus tips you previously kept aside in the remaining butter and season with salt (to taste).  They need to be cooked but still crunchy, so you only need to fry them off for 1-2 minutes.
.
Stir the fried asparagus tips into the soup.
Serve & enjoy – Gloriously Good Food!
Soup Recipes | Pea and Asparagus Soup

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Courgettes | Zucchini | Quick Lunch Ideas

Pan-fried Courgettes (Zucchini if you’re in the USA) – 
a quick and healthy Low-Cal lunch or a tasty side-dish!
Pan-fried Courgettes | Pan-fried Zucchini

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 as a side-dish or 1-2 as a healthy low-cal lunch!
Approx. Calories per serving: 55  

Ingredients

  • 3-4 large courgettes / zucchini (approx. 750-800g in total)
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • salt, garlic powder (or dried chopped garlic), chilli flakes – to taste

Method

Tip: The key to this quick & delicious courgette / zucchini lunch or side-dish is to use a good non-stick frying pan and keep the heat on high!  That way, the courgettes / zucchini don’t stick (despite use of very little oil) and you get that beautiful caramelised taste, texture & look.  After all, who wants anaemic-looking courgettes/zucchini on their plate??

Wash, then top & tail the courgettes/zucchini

Cut them in half, lengthways, then cut each half in half lengthways again (so you end up having quartered them lengthways)

Then cut each length into approx. 1-1.5cm chunks – don’t worry about this looking too precise or pretty.  I put 4 lengths together and cut them all at once, quite quickly & roughly. This is a QUICK recipe!

Heat the oil in the frying pan and when it’s really hot & sizzling, add the courgettes / zucchini.

Season to taste with salt, garlic powder (or dried chopped garlic) and chilli flakes.

Stir occasionally to ensure they caramelise evenly, keeping the heat on high at all times.

After approx. 10 mins, they’re ready to serve (or longer if you prefer them softer).

That’s all there is to it! 🙂

Gloriously Good Food!

Recipe Extension Tip:

Why not beat some eggs and pour them over the courgettes / zucchini once they’ve browned off nicely, to turn this dish into a tasty omelette?

For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com

Easter Recipe | Easter Egg and Soldiers

Egg and Soldiers made with White Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Crema Pasticcera* and Lemon Savoiardi

 *Crema Pasticcera (also known as Crema Inglese or Crème Patissière or Crème Anglaise) is essentially custard…delicious, home-made, easy to make and rich-tasting custard!

Easter Recipe | Easter Egg | Easter Dessert | Egg and Soldiers

This recipe makes 6 portions

First of all, make the Savoiardi biscuits as per my recipe, but ensure you SUBSTITUTE THE FOLLOWING: Instead of using vanilla essence, use the finely-grated rind of half a lemon (ideally an unwaxed lemon).

Note: If you are short on time, you can use shop-bought Sponge Fingers. 

For the ‘egg’ part of the recipe: 

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Resting Time: 2 hours +

“EGG WHITE”

Ingredients

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 300g mascarpone cheese
  • 50ml double cream
  • 50g caster sugar

Method

  • Break the chocolate into small squares then melt in the microwave (in short bursts of 30 seconds to ensure you don’t over-heat it and burn it!)
  • While the chocolate is melting, mix the mascarpone, cream and sugar in a large bowl, ensuring you end up with a smooth thick creamy mixture
  • Gradually add the chocolate, beating the mixture vigorously with a spatula/spoon (don’t worry if it looks slightly ‘curdled’ at this stage, but make sure you add the chocolate gradually!)
  • Whisk the mixture with an electric whisk for about 30 seconds on a high setting until it is smooth and glossy and has thickened slightly to the consistency of whipped cream

Distribute the white chocolate mixture into 6 small bowls and smooth the surface as much as you can using the back of a teaspoon, then clean around the edges of the bowl with a clean teatowel or kitchen tissue paper.

Place the 6 bowls in the fridge to set.

“EGG YOLK”

Ingredients

  • 350ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 25g plain white flour
  • Rind from 1.5 lemons (preferably unwaxed lemons)
  • 1/4 tsp good quality vanilla essence
  • 1tsp yellow food colouring

Method

  • Peel the rind off the lemons (using a potato peeler) and place them in a medium saucepan with the milk and the vanilla essence
  • Turn the heat on and bring the milk to boiling point, without actually letting it boil and taking care not to let it burn
  • Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until they have gone almost white and very ‘fluffy’
  • Sift the flour into the egg yolks and whisk it in
  • Remove the lemon rind/peel from the milk and pour the almost boiling milk into the egg mixture, VERY SLOWLY whilst whisking continuously…starting off with just a few drops and gradually adding more until all the milk has been whisked into the egg yolks
  • Return the mixture to the pan, add the food colouring and, over a low heat and while stirring with a spatula/spoon or hand-held whisk (using a whisk is a good method to avoid lumps, but use it to STIR rather than whisk!), heat it until it thickens to a rich thick custard.  Ensure you stir continuously!
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and place the bowl into a larger bowl containing ice cubes (not absolutely necessary but helps speed up the process!) and stir continuously until the custard has cooled to at least room temperature

ASSEMBLY OF THE ‘EGG’

  • Take the pots with the white chocolate mousse/cream out of the fridge and carefully scoop out a central circle with a teaspoon
  • Pour the yellow custard into a squeezy/decorative bottle with a nozzle (if you have one, otherwise you will have to pour carefully from a jug or using a spoon, but it could get messy!)
  • Squeeze/pour the yellow custard into the hollowed-out centre of the white chocolate mousse until it reaches the same level as the white chocolate mousse
  • Carefully (avoiding over-spill of the custard onto the white mousse) move the pots back into the fridge and rest for at least a couple of hours

SERVING OF THE ‘EGG AND SOLDIERS’

  • Cut the Savoiardi into long 1cm-wide strips, the same as you would with toast for traditional ‘egg and soldiers’ with boiled eggs
  • Place a few onto each plate
  • Add one ‘egg’ pot to each plate
  • Serve

Dig in….Gloriously Good!!!

Easter Recipe | Easter Egg | Easter Dessert | Egg and Soldiers
For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com