Summer Soups for our walkers!

Green Pea and Coriander Soup

(Recipes serve 4-6)

Both of these soups are absolutely delicious, gorgeously coloured, with easily sourced ingredients. They're also fantastically easy and very quick to make - which is why they're perfect for our trips! Please use the best quality ingredients you can find - it makes ALL the difference. Sláinte!

Pea and Coriander Soup

50 g (2 oz) butter
150 g (5.5 oz) chopped onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 small red or green chili, deseeded and finely chopped (for those wary of spice and heat, this is optional, however a small amount of finely chopped chili really enhances the flavour w/o causing any pain - and the tiny flecks of bright red or green look so pretty! )
850 ml (1.5 pts) chicken stock
450 g (1 lb) good quality frozen peas
2-3 tbsp chopped coriander
salt and pepper
sugar

Melt butter in large saucepan, adding the onion, garlic, chili and season with salt and pepper.

Cover with greaseproof paper, replace lid and sweat over low heat for 10 mins (or until onions are soft and translucent).

Remove greaseproof paper, add stock, turn heat to high and bring to a rapid boil.

Add peas and cook briefly. [It's most important to remove lid as soon as stock (w/ peas) returns to a boil - this ensures the peas keep their bright green color which distinguishes this lovely soup!]

Boil only for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Add coriander and liquidize immediately.

Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. You may want to add a pinch or two of sugar to bring up the flavour of the peas. Serve with a small dab of whipped cream and/or a perfect leaf of coriander as a floating garnish.

Quick Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

50 g (2 oz) butter or olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
400g finely sliced red peppers
1 small red chili, deseeded and finely chopped (see comments in above recipe - the same optional but preferable status applies here as in Pea and Coriander Soup)
1 small garlic bulb, crushed (please don't skimp on the garlic - use either one small bulb or ¾ of a large bulb)
2 (400 g) tins of good quality organic whole tomatoes
.5 pt water or a light vegetable or chicken stock
fistful of fresh basil and/or coriander and/or thyme
salt and pepper
1 rounded tsp sugar

Melt butter or heat olive oil in large saucepan, adding the onion, red peppers and chili pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover with greaseproof paper, replace lid and sweat over low heat for 20 mins (or until vegetables are soft).

Remove greaseproof paper (do not replace lid), add whole tomatoes with their juice, add the crushed garlic. Bring to a gentle simmer.

Tear up half the fistful of herbs and stir in. Taste and season again with salt and pepper and add the sugar. Simmer gently with lid off for 20 mins.

Remove from heat. Tear and stir in remaining herbs and liquidize.

Check taste, adding salt, pepper and/or sugar if necessary (sugar removes the metallic taste of tinned tomatoes). Add water/stock if texture is too thick. Serve with small dab of whipped cream and/or a perfect leaf of herb as a floating garnish.