Tag Archives: celery

Recipe: Vegetarian Pea Soup

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London is famous for its fogs, but the really famous fog, the London Particular or Pea-Souper never happens now. Oh, it still gets foggy in London occasionally, but the yellow-tinged, lung-searing mix of smoke from coal fires and mist from the London basin, was ended by the clean air acts of the 1950s and 60s. It is just as well. Thick fogs sound romantic and very Sherlockian, but the last Great Smog of 1952, which lasted four days, is estimated to have contributed to the deaths of 12,000 people.

If the fogs have gone, the soup remains. This can be made with green or yellow split peas and I have stuck with yellow. The original recipe would include a ham bone, or a bacon joint. I have included a sprinkle of smoked paprika to add a smoky hit to the soup. If you have some smoked salt, that would be good added in right at the end, too.

Pea Soup photo DSCN1059_zpsd78f00f0.jpg

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
200g split peas
1l veg stock
1 bay leaf
1/2tsp fresh thyme
Smoked paprika for garnish

Soften the onion, celery and carrot in a little oil in a large saucepan.
Once the onion is translucent add the split peas, stock, bay leaf and thyme.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 90 minutes or until the peas will break apart when pushed against the side of the pan.
Stir vigorously to break up the peas a little.
Check the seasoning and serve with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

Serves 2 with a little extra for seconds

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Quick Bite: Waldorf Salad

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Mr Hamilton: Could you make me a Waldorf salad.
Basil Fawlty: Oh… a… Wa…?
Mr Hamilton: Waldorf salad.
Basil Fawlty: I think we’re just out of Waldorfs.

You might think that a salad invented at the great Waldorf Hotel in New York would be complicated, but it isn’t. Its classic recipe has only four ingredients – celery, apple, walnuts and mayonnaise. I’ve messed about with is slightly, but only by adding a touch of flavour to the mayo. And while we’re on the subject, please don’t put too much mayonnaise in this. I hate it when you have to spade your way through the dressing to find the salad ingredients. A light coating is all that’s needed.

This is a lovely, refreshing starter that’s simple and quick to make.

Waldorf photo DSCN1031_zps789ee0fc.jpg

Ingredients
2tbsp mayonnaise
1tsp mustard
1tsp fresh dill, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 medium apple, chopped
25g walnuts, roughly chopped
lettuce leaves, for serving

Add the mayonnaise to a largish bowl, stir in the mustard and dill.
If you have enough time, let them stand for about 10 minutes to let the dill flavour develop.
Just before serving chop the celery, apple and walnuts and stir into the mayonnaise.
Serve on lettuce leaves.

Serves 2 as a starter