Every New Year starts with new resolutions. Some of these last a few days and some a few months. The one most people break the fastest is their resolve to eat healthy. This is because austere dieting is never sustainable for a long period of time. The best way to stick to this resolution is to equip oneself with an arsenal of recipes that are both healthy and extremely delicious.
A simple trick to create a healthy and delicious dish is to work with seasonal ingredients. When fruits and vegetables are at their prime, they breathe new life into a dish and ensure bright and flavorful outcomes. Another tip is to not eliminate all fats from a dish. You can and certainly should reduce the fat content, but do use a small amount of butter, olive oil, cheese etc. to create a satiating dish. You can always eliminate other saturated fats such as heavy cream by using yogurt or milk. Our brains need to receive this signal of satiation from our meals. This enables us to stick to eating healthy. If you dissatisfied with your meals, you struggle to maintain your healthy eating resolution for an extended period of time.
These tips were my guiding light for the first recipe post of 2017. The mandate was simple – take a seasonal vegetable and create a heart-warming dish that will keep making its comeback on our dining table through the season. Since the markets are currently flooded with amazing fresh green peas I had to find a way to make them the star ingredient of the dish. So surprise, surprise a seasonal ingredient once again finds its way into a soup recipe in the Feeding Your Appetite kitchen.
This Fresh Green Pea Soup combines sweet green peas with simple everyday soup basics to create a bright and happy outcome. The addition of the crunchy focaccia croutons creates a textural balance and tossing them with Parmesan cheese creates an umami that safeguards satiation! This soup celebrates Indian winters and promises to warm your belly and your soul.
Fresh Green Pea Soup Recipe
Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten’s Fresh Pea Soup
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 cups
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts (approximately 1 leek)
½ chopped red onion
½ tablespoon garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups of low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 ½ cups freshly shelled peas
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
¼ cup fresh chives or scallion greens, finely chopped
¼ cup Greek yogurt or hung curd
2 cups of 1 inch diced focaccia bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium soup pot that has a lid on medium heat.
- Add the leeks, and onions and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the garlic and cook along with a little salt, pepper and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally till the onions and leeks are soft and translucent.
- Now add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas, lower the heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking turn the oven on to 180 degree C or 350 degree F. Toss the breadcrumbs with olive oil and Parmesan cheese and toast them for 10-15 minutes until they are nice and crispy.
- Turn off the heat and stir in mint leaves into the soup. Use and immersion blender and puree the soup. You can decide to keep the soup thick as it is at this stage or puree half or whole of it to get the desired consistency.
- Warm the soup and ladle it into individual bowls. Swirl some of the hung yogurt into each bowl of soup. Top with the chives and focaccia croutons and enjoy!