Tuesday 24 June 2014

Chilled Summer Lettuce & Pea Soup

Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.
No wait, come back!! I promise this is soooo good :-) As odd as it all sounds (lettuce in soup?? and COLD?) this really is quite delicious and is going to be a summer staple for us for sure.

It came about, as I'm guessing all lettuce soups do, because I had a major glut of lettuce in the poly-tunnel. About 10 big heads of lettuce came up at the same time and since my son doesn't eat lettuce (grrr) that's an awful lot for 2 people to get through, yes, even for vegans :-) 
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.
After getting quite bored of salads and of wrapping almost everything I was eating in large leaves of lettuce I had a search online to see what else I could do with them. There were quite a lot of lettuce soup recipes around, some chilled, some not and I've based this one a few different recipes, taking ideas I liked best from each of them and putting it into one soup...Including my very own Minted Petite Pois and Potato Soup from 2009 :-)

This one has a potato added which I liked as it gives the soup some body, LOTS of fresh herbs which are essential - especially the mint! Lots of garlic and some petite pois - their sweetness really help balance out the lettuce. Then some soy cream is stirred in before blitzing, giving the soup a lovely creaminess.
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.
Now, if chilled soups sound like an abomination to you, this soup is just as good hot. My husband isn't into the whole chilled soup thing so he heats his, in which case it's lovely with a sprinkling of my vegan parmesan on top. 

If it's cool out I'll heat mine and probably slightly prefer it that way but when I made this soup it was roasting hot here - my kitchen was 29.2 degrees! On those days, having a fresh green cooling minty soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a chilled glass of white wine was just perfect and oh so refreshing :-)
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.

~Recipe Notes~

♥ Our lettuce was Cos but I'm sure any green leaf lettuce would work, especially romaine (not iceberg though!)
♥ I have made this with a Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot and with a Kallo Vegetable very low-salt Stock Cube, both turned out wonderful. I needed an extra ⅛ tsp of salt with the Knorr one and added ¾ tsp with the low-salt Kallo one.
♥ I used 1 whole 250ml carton of Alpro Single Cream
♥ Recipe provides about 4-6 servings and can be frozen!

Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.

Chilled Summer Lettuce & Pea Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped (2 Tbsp)
3 cups (750 ml) water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 potato, peeled and sliced thin
 (about 164g peeled weight)
5-6 cups lettuce, from about 2 large heads, chopped and lightly packed (250g)
1 cup frozen petite pois or peas (130g)
1 Tbsp each finely chopped fresh dill, mint and chives 
1 cup (250 ml) soy cream
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedges to serve (if having chilled)
vegan parmesan to serve (if having hot)

In a saucepan, soften the onion and garlic in the oil with some black pepper until the onion is soft and translucent. Dissolve the stock cube in the water and add to the pot with the sliced potato. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potato very soft. Add the lettuce, peas and fresh herbs and cook for about 5 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the soy cream, let cool slightly.

In a blender, purée the soup until smooth and bright green, mine took a little while to get really green - just keep going. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let cool at room temperature then cover and refrigerate until cold. 

When I'm having this soup cold I serve it with a wedge of lemon to squeeze in then season with a little salt and pepper - the lemon really goes well in this! If I'm having it warm I don't add the lemon but like a spinkling of my vegan parmesan on top and some black pepper. Both ways are great :-)
Chilled Summer Lettuce and Pea Soup - gluten free and vegan.

From various sources but mainly Ricardo Cuisine's Chilled Lettuce Soup.

Nutritional Information: for 1 serving out of 6

Calories: 153
Protein: 3.4g
Fibre: 3g
Carbs: 12.1g
Sugar: 2.8g
Fat: 9.4g
Sat Fat: 1.3g
Sodium: 332mg (depending on stock cube used)

You Might Also Like: 
Summer Salad Rolls
w/ Spicy Nut Butter Dip
Curried Potato Salad
Lettuce Wraps


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