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Food

How to cool a winter's favourite soup for summer's hot days

Posted by Katherine / April 24, 2013

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The sun is starting to shine, the days are longer and the terraces are opening. We are getting closer and closer to Summer, which means that soon it will be time to adjust our eating habits to brighter days. Gone will be the days where the contemplation of a warm comfort plate is needed to keep us motivated until dinner time. For a few months, we can wave goodbye to the need to keep warm with casseroles and hearty soups. But how does one go from a favourite Winter dish to a lighter Summer one? In this series, I will focus on exploring how we can make those changes and still stick to flavours that we enjoy and that makes us smile.

In this introductory post, I suggest how to go from a wintery green pea and mint soup to a fresher version for the Summer. This inexpensive and quick meal only requires a few ingredients and you can easily adjust the flavours to your personal taste. This versatile soup is a perfect example of how we can adjust a delightful Winter dish into a cooler one that uses the same delightful ingredients. All the products used here are quite healthy and once mixed together they become a vivid green colour; which in itself is a nice depiction of a fresh dish. This is a vegetarian soup, if you like a more consistent and meaty soup you can be creative and add pieces of smoked ham to it.

In my next post, we will take a journey into the fresh market scene in Montreal. The following will be an exploration into how to grow your own veggies, even in a small Montreal apartment.

Ingredients for two bowls of soups:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves
4 green onions
¾ cup of fresh mint leaves
2 cups of frozen peas
2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth * if you are like me and enjoy a thicker soup you can use 2 cups of broth
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

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Steps to follow for a delightful green peas and mint soup:

1. Cut green onions and garlic (do not worry too much about how you cut your veggies, since they will go through the blender, any cutting size is fine).
2. Cook in olive oil for about 2-3 minutes at low temperature.
3. Add 1 ½ of the frozen green peas, stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
4. Add half of the mint leaves, stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add vegetable broth, bring to a light boil, then reduce to low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
7. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender or food processor. For a fresher taste add 2 tablespoons of the yogurt before blending.
8. Return soup to pot and add ½ cup of the frozen peas and cook for an extra 5 minutes or until the added peas are cooked.
9. To enjoy the warm version of this soup, serve immediately. For the fresher version, cool soup at room temperature and then refrigerate.
10. To serve garnish each dish with the remaining of the mint and of the yogurt. You can also substitute the yogurt for feta cheese.

Enjoy!

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