Today I…made soup for lunch.
At the bottom of the fridge I found a lettuce that was one day away from the bin-well, you know I hate waste so I wondered what I could do with it. Its too cold for salad and anyway, I was hungry for comfort food. Casting my eye around I spotted a leek and some leftover pancetta which triggered an idea … pea and lettuce soup. They go together- right? I knew I had seen this somewhere in a magazine or on the TV but never tried it. A quick google search found a few recipes- mostly with frozen peas, cream and mint. I knew I had no fresh mint or cream but figured I could probably do without the cream altogether and just make do with dried mint. I searched on and- BINGO! What a great idea- fry up the pancetta with breadcrumbs and sprinkle it on the soup. As a devoted disciple of Nigella and Jamie I always have a stash of stale bread in the freezer- crumbs and croutons- so I ran off to the kitchen to make lunch.
This is the result- it made 2 big bowls for lunch and enough leftover for Mr K to take to work on Monday. It might have made four portions if I had made it more runny (or we were less greedy).
- One leek and two small onions chopped fairly small
- knob of butter
- One lettuce shredded (mine was romaine but i don’t think it matters)
- about 500g frozen peas
- One litre vegetable or chicken stock ( i used 2 cubes)
- salt & pepper to taste
Sweat the leeks and onions in some butter for about 10 minutes until soft and pale gold. Do not let them go brown- add some olive oil or water if necessary. Add the lettuce, peas and hot stock cook for 10-15 minutes.
Make the pancetta crumbs while the soup is cooking. Simply chop some pancetta or streaky bacon into small pieces. Fry to release some of the fat, add some stale breadcrumbs and stir until golden and crispy.
Whizz the soup with a stick blender until smooth – season to taste. Add more stock or water if too thick. Sprinkle the crumbs on the soup and serve.
Guess what? It’s flipping gorgeous! All from ‘the bottom of the fridge’ and ready in 20 minutes. I did not miss the cream but I would slosh a bit in if I had some to use up or swirl it on the top if I felt ‘cheffy’. I would add some fresh mint if I was making it in the summer.
If I remember correctly- the recipe I saw in a magazine served it with a couple of grilled fish fingers chopped up as croutons. Hell, yeah!
Here’s a photo of my lunch- apologies to my daughter who will be either weeping or laughing at my poorly composed, squiffy, out of focus, food photos. I promise the cooking is better than the photography!