Sometimes, I really like to be able to pull the majority of the ingredients for a meal straight out of the freezer. There’s no worrying about whether something didn’t get cooked in time, because while we do try our best to stick to our meal plan, some weeks just get away from us. Obviously certain ingredients are better from the freezer than others, and I would suggest that the green pea might be one of the best.
This soup, an ode to frozen peas, is made mostly from the contents of my freezer and the random vegetables left in my kitchen, with the addition of some fresh mint. As we all know, that mint was probably purchased anyway for lots of cocktails, so it should be easy to grab a handful. A few slices of bacon, just to get the party going, give the soup a little more depth, with the added bonus of making your home smell like bacon. It’s win/win.
Homemade chicken broth is a constant in my freezer, so that gets thrown into the pot. Since I make it from the bones I save whenever we eat a roasted chicken, this becomes a virtually free ingredient, and it tastes so much better than store bought. You should stock your freezer with some, preferably frozen into both 1 cup and 1 quart quantities.
2 bags of frozen peas, an ingredient that I try to keep around to throw into fried rice or pasta dishes. Vastly superior to canned peas, they’re one of the ingredients I can add to a dish to pretend like it’s a balanced meal. There’s a green vegetable in there, total victory!
Added bonus? While digging through the freezer, you’ll hopefully stumble across some frozen pieces of homemade rosemary focaccia bread, which you will reheat to a crunchy dipping tool.
It’s pure, made from frozen perfection.
Pea and Mint Soup (From Jamie’s Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver, p. 132)
(Simply leave out the bacon, cook the vegetables in olive oil, and use vegetable broth to make this soup vegan. It will still be delicious!)
- 3 slices of bacon (optional)
- 2 carrots
- 2 medium onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 6-ish cups frozen peas (2 bags)
- Small bunch of mint
- Salt and pepper
Thinly slice the bacon and set aside. Chop the onions and carrots, and mince the garlic.
Bring your chicken broth to a low boil in a small pot.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until it’s lightly golden and the fat has rendered. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic, and stir well to coat the vegetables in the bacon fat. Cook until the carrots soften and the onions become translucent, about 10 minutes, Add broth and the peas. Bring the pot to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. and add the mint. Using an immersion blender, blend until very smooth. Add lots of salt and pepper (I always wind up adding salt and tasting 3 or 4 times before it’s salty enough).
Serve with crusty bread.