Henry requested “soup and a salad with dressing that doesn’t come out of a bottle (!)” this week so that’s what we made. We’ve actually made the salad before with last term’s group of Petits Chefs but I wanted to show this group that the type of salad you buy at the store is really so simple to make at home and that way you know exactly what’s going into it.
The soup I chose was Pea and Mint because I though it might be a nice one for the hot weather we’ve been having. I knew it was a bit of a gamble with 9 year-old boys but hey, they can’t like everything, right? All I ask is that they try. They love peas (especially eating them frozen) so I figured it might be ok. It was a super easy recipe – we bunged all the ingredients in the pan (above) and let it cook away for about 40 minutes, then blended with an immersion blender until it looked like this:
Henry and I were impressed that the soup matched the placemat. As far as taste goes, well this was definitely not a huge hit (though Oliver, I saw you sneaking a LOT of spoons of this as I cleaned up around you!!!). Charles declared it too thick and Henry thought it was too watery. Liam declined the offer to try (he is quite particular about food and I have been absolutely thrilled that he has tried so much of the food we’ve made so I gave him a pass on this one!). Me? I liked it. I agree that it could have been a bit thicker – I might have been a bit light on with the peas. But definitely tasty and fresh for warmer weather.
The salad had everyone chopping…
This is Liam above ^^ facing his nemesis – peppers! Remember when he rubbed his eyes after cutting jalapenos? Well this time he was taking no chances and washed his hands well and often. He also spoke sternly to the pepper telling it who was the boss.
They all enjoyed squeezing the lemon for the dressing:
The quote of the week comes from Henry: “I wish we could have food like this for lunches.” Considering we have an AMAZING lunch program at my school that is high praise indeed 🙂 You made my week!
Jamie Oliver’s Pea and Mint Soup
Jamie says: A delicious soup which is lovely hot, or cold with a squeeze of lemon juice in the summer. My wife likes hers with a portion of fries on the side, to dip into the soup – naughty but nice!
2 celery stalks
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 ¾ quarts chicken or vegetable broth, preferably organic
5 ½ cups frozen peas
A small bunch of fresh mint
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: ¾ pound cooked ham, preferably free-range or organic
To make your soup
Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Put the broth in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients to the pan and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden. Add the boiling broth to the vegetables. Add your peas. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pick your mint leaves.
To serve your soup
When the peas have softened, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the mint leaves. Using an immersion blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. If using ham, chop it and stir it in. heat through before dividing between your serving bowls. Really nice served with a toasted slice of ciabatta, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
(keep scrolling down for my giveaway link!)
Jamie Oliver’s Rice Salad
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g mixed long grain and wild rice
A few sprigs of fresh basil
A few sprigs of fresh mint
A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
200 g roasted red peppers from a jar
1/2 a fresh red chilli
4 tbsp (60 mL) lemon dressing (please see below)
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the rice and cook it according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain the rice in a sieve and spread it out on a tray to help it cool down quickly. Meanwhile, pick all the herb leaves off the stalks. Finely chop the peppers. Halve, de-seed and finely chop your chilli. Make your lemon dressing. Put your cooled rice into a big serving bowl. Finely chop your herb leaves and add them to the bowl, together with the peppers and chilli. Zest over your lemon, add the dressing and mix well. Taste, add salt and pepper if you think it needs it, and serve.
Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
Don’t forget to enter my Calphalon Utensils giveaway! It’s open to anyone wherever you live!!!