Picked straight from the garden

Pea soup
It’s great to be able to walk out to the garden and look at all the lovely vegetables in there prime. All the vegetables that were planted in the spring and now ready to be picked and cooked or even blanched and frozen.

It’s great to be able to walk out to the garden and look at all the lovely vegetables in there prime. All the vegetables that were planted in the spring and now ready to be picked and cooked or even blanched and frozen.

This week I am using a few simple recipes to use up these vegetables by just adding a few simple ingredients .

Fresh Pea and Parsley Soup

(Serves 4)

Knob of butter

4shallots, finely chopped

800g fresh peas

1 vegetable stock cube

2tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

100ml double cream

Salt and white pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the shallots for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peas with 800ml water and the stock cube. Bring to boil then turn down the heat, add the parsley and simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes for young peas and up to 18 minutes for larger or older peas. Stir occasionally.

When the peas are tender, ladle them into a food processor or blender with a little of the cooking liquid. Puree until smooth.

Return the soup to the pan, pour in half the cream, season and reheat without boiling.

Serve in warm bowls garnished with a drizzle of the remaining cream.

Baked Frittata

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

250g leeks, trimmed and finely sliced

100g rocket leaves

100g spinach

100g curly kale, shredded

8 large eggs

3tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

150g Greek feta cheese, crumbled

30g freshly grated parmesan cheese

50g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ gas mark 3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the leeks for 10 minutes until soft. Add the rocket, spinach and curly kale to the pan and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes until they have wilted down. Transfer the mixture in a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.

Break the eggs into a bowl with the greens and add the mint, feta, parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes. Season and mix well.

Oil a shallow 20cm cake tin, preferably non-stick. Pour in the mixture and bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until just set.

Allow the Frittata to rest for 3 minutes before slicing. Serve with a beautiful tomato salad.

White Chocolate Mousse

280g white chocolate, broken into pieces

300ml double cream

1tbsp freshly ground black pepper

12 fresh mint leaves (6 finely sliced, 6 reserved for decoration)

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water to melt. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. When the chocolate has melted, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down slightly.

Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.

Place 2 tbsp of cream in the melted chocolate and gently fold together, then fold the mixture into the rest of the cream. At the end, gently fold in the black pepper and the chopped mint.

Share the mixture between six tall Champagne glasses. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then serve decorated with reserved mint leaves.