When I was younger, I learnt that the verb which goes together with ‘soup’ is ‘eat’ instead of ‘drink’. It’s only when I was much older that I realised it is because Western soups, unlike its Eastern counterparts, are so thick and hearty, so much so drinking might pose the danger of choking. Western soup, which is often eaten with bread has to be thick; it needs body. It needs to be strong enough to cling onto the eater’s dunked piece of bread. It needs to have texture and weight. It needs to have a presence at the meal table. It needs to be filling.
The reason for the coveted thickness in consistency lies in the way it is made: the ingredients in these soups are usually blended after they’re cooked. Yesterday, W had a craving for soup. Needless to say, we made some, so look on and see how we did our pea and bacon soup.
Pea and bacon soup
- 1 tsp butter, salted or unsalted doesn’t matter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 bacon rashers, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced (or garlic-pressed)
- 2 handfuls frozen peas, defrosted
- 300ml vegetable/chicken stock
- salt and pepper, to season
- 1 pinch ground mix spice (optional)
- olive oil, to serve (optional)
- Heat the butter in a pot till the foaming subsides, and fry the chopped bacon till coloured. Remove the bacon when done, keeping the fat in the pot.
- Toss in the onions and sweat them down till they’re translucent. Add the minced garlic midway.
- Add the frozen peas and cook them with the stock. Bring to the boil, before reducing the heat to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the peas are tender.
- Using a hand blender, pulse the soup until desired consistency. Some people like it smooth, other prefer their soup slightly chunky. We went with the latter.
- Stir in the cooked bacon chunks, add a pinch of ground mixed spice for a deeper flavour and season with salt accordingly.
- Serve with a swirl of olive oil and a fresh crack of black pepper, alongside warm toast or bread of your choice.
Most soups are done in the same way, so have a go with other ingredients and let us know how it goes! Here are some common combinations: potato and leek, carrot and coriander, chestnut and chorizo, celery and apple, mushroom and sausage…
Here’s the recipe card: