wild rocket & pea soup with tamarind

Lindsey Bareham

Pea soups, particularly those made with frozen petits pois, always turn out well. The only thing to remember is to liquidise for several minutes, which breaks down the surprisingly fibrous skins. The snap of wild rocket is a very good bedfellow, not an obvious one but it works with potatoes so why not with peas. A couple of teaspoons of tamarind paste sharpen the flavours without spoiling the lovely green colour like lemon juice. A little jar of tamarind in the fridge has many uses.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 20 min

1 onion
50g butter
375g frozen petits pois
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (stock cubes are fine)
50g wild rocket
2 heaped tsp tamarind paste

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Melt the butter in a spacious lidded saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir in the onion with ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 min until slippery soft and hardly coloured. Add stock and bring to the boil.

Add the peas, establish a steady simmer and cook for about 5 min until tender. Add the rocket, pushing under the liquid and return to the boil. Add the tamarind, stir to dissolve then liquidise in batches. Allow a couple of minutes per batch, return to a clean pan and bring to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve now or later with or without a swirl of cream.