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IN SEASON


Peas Pick a pod of peas this summer...


Sweet and crunchy, there is nothing quite like the fl avour of peas picked freshly from their delicate pods. T e trick with fresh peas is to


enjoy them as quickly as possible once they are picked as they gradually lose their vibrant sweetness over time.


Garden peas, sugar snap peas and mangetout are all climbing plants of the legume family that are commonly found in the veg patch all off ering a slightly diff erent fl avour and texture.


Variaties ❤ GARDEN PEAS - Our most common friend from the pea family,


garden peas are the only one of these three peas which require shelling. Although this at times is a lengthy task, the shells are easily opened and peas pop out without hassle, revealing super sweet green gems that can be eaten raw or gently cooked.


TIP: Don’t hang around – peas get starchy as they get larger or when not cooked quickly after picking.


❤ SUGAR SNAP PEAS - Sugar snap peas are a cross between mangetout and garden peas where the whole pod can be eaten off ering a sweet, crunchy texture. Again, these peas can be eaten both lightly cooked or raw. Sugar snaps can sometimes become stringy over time; pick early and eat fresh.


TIP: Raw sugar snaps are brilliant on a crudité plate for healthy dipping and snacking.


❤ MANGETOUT - Mangetout are a fl at- podded variety in which the peas are small and the pod entirely edible. Although also know as snow peas, mangetout's French name translates directly as 'eat everything'. Crisp, sweet and best served raw or lightly steamed, mangetout are in fact young peas still in the pod and picked before they have chance to develop.


TIP: Mangetout freeze well – blanch for one minute before drying and spreading out on a baking sheet. Freeze until fi rm, then place in a freeze bag.


PEA & MINT SOUP WITH CRISPY CHORIZO


Summery soup in a fl ash - use fresh or frozen peas for convenience and serve as a seasonal starter for six or light lunch for four.


1 small onion Knob of butter 1 large garlic clove 2 sprigs of rosemary 800g peas, fresh or frozen 700ml vegetable stock Small bunch of mint, stalks removed Salt and pepper 80g chorizo sausage, fi nely diced 1 tbsp olive oil


serves 4


1 Dice the onion and place in a large pan with the butter. Gently fry the onion over a low heat for 5 mins until softened. Finely chop the garlic and rosemary, add to the pan and fry for a further minute.


40 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


2 Add the peas to the pan and stir to coat in the onion mixture. Pour in the stock, turn up the heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook the peas for 4-5 mins or until tender, then remove from the heat to cool slightly.


3 In a separate pan, add the chorizo and oil and fry until crispy. Set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.


4 Roughly chop the mint and add to the peas. Carefully pour into a food blender, or using a hand blender, blitz until smooth. Season to taste and add a little more stock or water if required.


5 To serve, divide the soup between four large bowls, or six for a starter. Sprinkle over the crispy chorizo and a little of the oil reserved in the pan. Finish with a scattering of mint leaves and a dollop of crème fraiche or mascarpone and serve alongside toasted sourdough.


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