Continuing on my theme of waste not want not, I have been raiding the refrigerator. Himself was a great nursemaid come cook, but the one thing he did not do, nor even think about was, what needed using in the refrigerator. This week, especially as we are escaping for a week, I rummaged further. And what did I find? Firstly some wonderful blue St. Agur cheese, one of my favourites, umm not today thank you, time to BIN it! And as for the ham, it had been opened, not sealed and left! Oops mouldy! Another for the bin! Actually that was all that needed dumping, whereas others were for food recycling, in the form of curries and soups.
Returning to my movie theme, I was thinking about The Adams family ( the original with the wonderful Raul Julia as Gomez, Anjelica Huston as Morticia and Christina Ricci as the lovely Wednesday. At meal times Morticia would constantly tell Wednesday ( her daughter)” Wednesday play with your food!” Whereas, what we have Moms said? Eat your dinner, don’t play with your food! Interesting concept. I thought of that comment, play with your food, and as I looked into my refrigerator, my thought was “ How can I play with what is in my refrigerator “?
Consequently, I thought in the first instance was Soup., But what kind of soup? Not my usual chuck it all in and make Refrigerator Soup, I needed to be more specific.
Hence, Spinach, and pea was formed. Elizabeth David in her groundbreaking book, French Provincial cooking has Pea Soup, using fresh peas. This was one of my Go To soups, Himself indeed was very fond of it, but I never ever made it with fresh peas.( after all, who wants to spend time shelling peas, only to make soup?).
Frozen peas are the best! They are frozen within 2 1/2 hours of picking. In the UK, we are pea self sufficient, producing 160,000 tonnes each year. The average person in the UK eats nearly 9,000 peas every year. Frozen peas were developed in the first instance by Clarence Birdseye, in the 1920’s and haven’t looked back since. Apparently Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother , or so the story goes, never ate peas. Why? Well, either way of eating peas was considered uncouth, shovelling them , using the fork like a spoon, is a strictly No No but then again, jabbing them on the tines of the forks also “ Just not done “ But maybe that is why, when ordering Fish and Chips, they often come with Mushy Peas. Well I went to college in the North of England and mushed frozen peas do not equate to Mushy Peas. Mushy peas are Marrowfat peas, soaked cooked and mushed !
- To make a lot of soup ( good for freezing)
- 2 large onions chopped roughly
- 1/4 lb butter
- 1 kilo fine frozen peas
- lettuce, one or two baby gem or a sweet romaine chopped
- 1 litre water
- 1litre milk
- 200 grms washed spinach
- Sugar to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A very simple soup, but oh so good.
- Melt the butter and add the onion and lettuce and let it wilt but do not brown.
- Add the peas and the water,
- When the peas are tender, add the spinach and bring to the boil.
- Add the milk ( can add cream and or plain yoghurt)
- Re move from heat, and I use a hand blender to give it a quick wiz to make a thick purée/ soup.
- Taste and add sugar, and yes it does taste better with some sugar, and salt and pepper.
- It is a little bit chunky and can be strained if you prefer.