Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fresh Pea Soup in St. Lucia

Hello everybody, life had been busy here on the ship. Especially days at sea are always full of F&B events, which is of course nice for the guest, but puts a lot of pressure on the crew. There is just so much they can do, from galley tours to cooking shows, wine seminars, whisky tasting and demonstrations of what we serve in the individual restaurants. Of course it is the same with all the other departments, there is a lot happening to keep 2000 passengers happy. Never mind that there are still a lot of them just lying around the pool and getting slowly roasted….
Miami was cold again, the second cold spell they had and it was nice to get back to the Caribbean in the warmth. We just spent some time in Castries, St. Lucia. What a beautiful Island, one just needs to take a taxi and drive out a bit. Town itself has really not much to offer, the usual, loads of shopping and quite a few restaurants, bars and pubs. It is all a bit poor, quite dirty and dilapidated and unfortunately I had not enough time to drive out a bit, never mind, one day I will.

In many parts of the world it is summer right now, nice and hot whereas in other parts it is freezingly cold, so I thought that it would be nice to have a soup that goes well in both parts of the world, the hot and the cold one. So, there we go, a fresh pea soup. If you are stuck in winter you serve the soup hot and think of summer and if you are in a hot area, just serve it chilled and cool down with this lovely refreshing soup.

Green pea soup for 10 friends

600 g (21 oz) Green peas
1 l (1 quart) Vegetable stock
500 ml (17 floz) Heavy Cream
400 g (13 oz) Potatoes
Salt, pepper
200 g (6.5 oz) Brioche
100 g (3 oz) Streaky Bacon
150 ml (5 oz) Crème Fraiche
Chive for garnish

Blanch peas in plenty salt water till very soft.
When cooked put them immediately into iced water
Bring chicken stock, potatoes and cream to a boil
Simmer till potatoes are very soft
Add peas, season well to taste and blend the soup.
Strain the soup through a chinoise and cool as fast as possible

Cut the brioche in 0.2 inch cubes
Toast them in the oven till golden brown
Cut the bacon in 0.2 inch cubes
Fry in very hot pan without oil till crispy, but not too dark

Re-heat the soup carefully and pour piping hot in soup bowl
Top with Crème Fraiche
Garnish with crispy bacon and croutons

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