Chilled Watercress and Pea Soup with Lemon Oil, Chilli and Pine Nuts
The British climate doesn’t typically lend itself to chilled soups, but they have their own unique appeal, and this one is easy and quick to make, as well as ‘accidentally’ vegan. As it is barely cooked, the peppery flavour of watercress comes right to the fore, with the peas adding sweetness and body. Lemon Oil adds a fragrant citrus aroma that is the ideal contrast. To enjoy the colour and flavours at their peak, this is a dish that is best eaten on the day it’s made
- Remove the stalk and peel the tough outer layers from the spring onions then finely chop, including the green tops. Finely slice the garlic. Place a medium pan on a medium heat and when hot, add the extra virgin olive oil, spring onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently for about 6 minutes, or until soft and sweet, but with no colour, then add the ground coriander and cook for another minutes.
- Add 700ml of water and the stock cube, allowing it to dissolve and bring to the boil. Roughly chop the watercress and remove any thick parts of the stalk from around the base of the stems. Once the stock is boiling, add the frozen peas and bring back to boil.
- Once the peas have boiled for 1 minute, add the watercress and stir through to wilt. Take the saucepan off the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz on high for 2 minutes or until smooth. Make sure there is space around the lid for air to escape during blending and begin by blending slowly then increasing the speed.
- Taste the soup and add more salt if you feel it needs it (different brands of stock cubes have different amounts of salt in them). Pour the soup into a deep tray or dish then cover the top with clingfilm or baking paper, making contact with the soup to prevent it turning brown, then place in the fridge and allow to chill until it’s very cold.
- Cut the chilli in half and remove the seeds. Taste to see how hot it is then finely slice however much you think you will need for 4 portions.
- Before serving, place 4 bowls in the fridge to chill. When ready to serve, divide the soup between bowls. Drizzle 1 ½ tbsp of lemon oil over each bowl, then top with pine nuts and the chopped chilli.