Friday, April 28, 2006

Pea Soup and a Poetry Reading

While making this spring green pea soup last night, I was besieged by the memory of Edward Lear's nonsense poem, The Jumblies, who sing:

"O Timballoo! how happy we are
When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar!
And all night long, in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail
In the shade of the mountains brown."

They sail'd to the Western Sea, they did,--
To a land all cover'd with trees:
And they bought an owl, and a useful cart,
And a pound of rice, and a cranberry-tart,
And a hive of silvery bees;
And they bought a pig, and some green jackdaws,
And a lovely monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton cheese...

In honor of the Jumblies, we had the soup with some bread and apricot Stilton cheese. All things being equal, I would have made a cranberry tart for dessert, but one must live in the real world, so instead there was cold chicken salad.

***
Jumblie Pea Soup
(stolen from Nigella's Feast)

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm:
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Mince or microplane:
1 clove garlic

Heat until the garlic sizzles a bit, but don't let it brown. Then add and heat through:
2 scallions, white and green bits, finely sliced

Toss in:
1 package frozen sweet peas (About 16 ounces, or 3 to 4 cups)

Dissolve in 3 cups hot water:
1 teaspoon vegetable stock base or 1 cube veggie bouillon

Add the stock to the pot, along with:
A piece of rind from a wedge of Parmesan cheese (about 1 inch by 2 inches)

Simmer for approx. 10 minutes, until peas get soft inside. Take the pan off the heat, fish out the now-gooey cheese rind, and let cool (Note: Don't ignore the "let cool" part. I did, and suffered terribly for it). Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Or, in keeping with the Jumblie spirit, strain it through a sieve.

Serve hot, with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan for looks.

15 comments:

mzn said...

I love your picture for this one. It's just a little bit abstract, a bit disorienting. And the green color makes me hungry for fresh local peas, which are about a month away still around here.

Chicken salad for dessert sounds sad.

Alanna said...

Pea poetry: perfect! If you love cream-smooth soups, think about a chinois. I inherited my mother's and wow, what a difference. Pea soup becomes something entirely different ...

lucette said...

I'm a big Edward Lear fan; do you know "You Are Old, Father William?"
Also, the pea soup looks beautiful.

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