I recently had the privilege of eating a very British lunch in a very British location.
Frankly the location wasn't the attraction though. The food was.
Green pea and Watercress soup, followed by an egg sandwich and a slice of Victoria Sponge.
It doesn't sound that interesting on paper, but in reality, it was an absolute standout meal.
The texture, colour and flavour of the soup, the perfect delectable light and airy bread encasing perfectly mayonnaise-d egg, and the sponge cake, dusted with icing sugar and served with jam in the centre and cream on the side. Proof that simple fare really is best.
Watercress isn't always available here in Australia of course, and silly me, I didn't have the foresight to plant any some weeks ago. So I've made do with a similarly peppery green rocket. It's not exactly the same, but it's close.
So here's my version of the soup. The egg sanger and sponge cake, I'll save for another time. I'm still trying to replicate those!
Green Pea and Rocket Soup
6 serves with leftovers
1 kg frozen green peas
4 vegetable stock cubes
2 cups water
1/4 small onion, peeled and grated (no chunks in this soup!)
1 large handful rocket leaves
Put all ingredients into a large saucepan, and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down, cover the pot with a firm fitting lid, and simmer until the peas are really mushy, about 20-30 minutes.
Allow to cool if you have time. This only makes it easier for blending.
Blend with a stick mixer or ladle into a food processor and process until very smooth.
Return the soup to the pot and reheat gently. Check the texture. It needs to be thick, but not mushy pea-on-pie solid. A bit like a nice thick hearty Pumpkin Soup is about right. To serve, ladle into bowls and finish with a swirl of pouring cream.
Fresh rolls on the side are optional.
Personally, I preferred to savour the delicate flavour and texture of the soup without the bread :)
Apparently Minted Pea Soup, and Pea Soup with Lemon are other favourite variations. You'd just substitute the mint leaves or lemon juice for the rocket.
You can also serve this chilled in Summer. I think I'd love that too :)