Pretty Chill

Often I feel like I’m speaking in a completely different dialect from my guy friends. Especially now that my brother’s not living at home for his diction to rub off on me. But one word I learned, and has stuck with me ever since is “chill”.

That’s chill. So chill. Pretty chill. You get the idea.

I think it’s a rather subjective adjective. So when things are hot and clammy, whatever you’re talking about simply, by default, becomes pretty chill.

Generally, when it’s sunny out and I have daisy-yellow butterflies fluttering in my heart, I just can’t slave around in the kitchen! I like to keep things cool and fresh, with the most vibrant ingredients I can find, and I don’t consider the word “frozen” to be taboo.

This is my favourite soup to enjoy on any warm day; not only is the pastel green a breath of fresh air, the peas are also tender to the point where, if whizzed to delicate enough a soup, becomes a clean, sweet cream. The mint is subtle and aromatic like steeped tea, but cools the palate and accentuates the pea’s sweetness, while atoning with the reserved sweated onions and garlic.

What’s even better? No defrosting, and no vegetable stock. Yup, pretty chill eh?

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Ingredients for 4 servings of chilled pea soup, derived from Jim Lahey’s My Pizza Cookbook:

1 tbsp grape seed oil

1 boiler onion, finely diced (about 1/2 a cup)

2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 tbsp sea salt

3 cups water

small handful of fresh mint leaves, about 20

500 g frozen shelled green peas

extra-virgin olive oil and more mint leaves, to garnish

To make the pea soup base, saute the onions and garlic with the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat until soft, without browning them, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and water, then bring to a boil. Throw in the mint leaves and allow it to boil for 1 more minute. Remove the pan from the heat and bring the contents to room temperature.

Put the frozen peas and mint soup base in a blender and blend on high speed until very velvety and smooth. If you don’t have a powerhouse blender, no worries, just strain your soup through a fine strainer.

Serve immediately, garnished with a drizzle of good olive oil and a few more mint leaves. This soup can be made in advance for up to 8 hours, covered, and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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