Fresh Pea Soup with Chedddar & Chive Scones


We have just arrived back from a wonderful weekend at Waiheke, with incredibly beautiful, hot sunny weather, loads of swimming, bush walks and a pretty spectacular slow cooked pork shoulder on the barbecue. It seems so weird to think of my American friends enduring a really bitter winter - we've seen some coverage on TV here in New Zealand, and woah, it looks COLD! Even though we are still enjoying one of the hottest summers I can remember, I hope my NZ followers won't mind that I post a recipe just for the northern hemisphere - a pea soup that is so bright and fresh, but still completely nurturing and warming, and perfect with the chive and cheddar scones (biscuits in 'American') - a little ray of sunshine on a bleak winter's day! To my Aussie and Kiwi mates, this is a good one to tuck away for autumn's arrival...

PS - happy Anniversary Day tomorrow to any Aucklanders reading! Let me know if you're keen for that pulled pork shoulder with crackling recipe...



30g butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 small leek, trimmed and finely sliced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
7 cups peas, frozen or freshly podded
1 cup fresh mint leaves, reserve some for garnish
½ cup cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
100g prosciutto
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons cream
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin or lemon olive oil

Melt butter in a large saucepan, add onion and leek and cook, stirring over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until the onion and leek are softened but not coloured. Add potato, stock and water and bring to the boil. Slow boil for 5 minutes or until potato is tender then drop in peas and most of the mint leaves, reserving some for garnish. Bring back up to the boil and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add cream and use a stick whiz or food processor to blend until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Gently re-heat to serve accompanied with a swirl of quickly whisked yoghurt thinned with cream, a few mint leaves, a grinding of black pepper, a drizzle of olive or lemon oil, a crispy strip of prosciutto and cheddar and chive scones. Serves 6

To crisp the prosciutto, heat the grill to 180˚C and lay slices onto a baking tray. Grill for a few minutes each side until crispy and delicious.

Cheddar and Chive Scones

3 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped chives
100g grated cheddar or tasty cheese plus 50g extra for topping
50g roughly crumbled feta cheese
¾ cup cold cream plus 2 tbsp
¾ cup cold soda water
1 small clove garlic, crushed
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and line an oven tray with baking paper. Sift the flour into a big bowl with the salt, cayenne and pepper. Add the chives, cheddar and feta cheeses and gently combine. In a small jug mix cold cream, soda and garlic. Make a well in the flour, add cream and mix together with a flat knife or big metal spoon - do not over mix! Lightly pat into a large rectangle about 26cm  x  12cm, if necessary giving a very  soft roll with the rolling pin. Cut into 12 rectangles and place onto baking paper. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream over the top of the scones and sprinkle with leftover cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and delicious.


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