An Italian inspired soup a la Nigella Lawson
Perfect pizza with a crispy yet chewy base, home-made tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella and a few carefully chosen, high quality topping ingredients may be my number one choice for my last meal on earth but as you can see from this blog, I have an established weakness for all Italian foods!
Which is why I love this simple pea and pesto soup recipe courtesy of the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson! While it’s not an authentic Italian recipe as such, it uses the classic Genovese sauce to give an otherwise simple soup recipe a big whack of flavour. A typical Nigella dish, this pea and pesto soup recipe requires only a few ingredients and can be whipped up in a jiffy.
I like to make it on nights I get home, broken and crumpled from the day and can’t be bothered cooking anything too involved, and the ol’ bank balance doesn’t give a cheer at thought of eating out. Because it doesn’t have potato or other ingredients commonly found in vegetable soup recipes, it takes next to no time to cook so you can hunker down on the couch with something soothing for supper in the jiffy. It’s worth noting that Nigella removes the spring onion after sautéing with the peas but I usually keep it, or regular onions if using, in.
Enjoyed with toast rubbed with garlic and topped with sliced tomato, a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt and freshly ground pepper, this soup recipe simply sings ‘Italia!’ And enjoyed with a nice glass of Chianti, you’ll get the warm rush of rustic Italian cooking, without having to wait for an hour for your pasta bake to finish cooking.
Pea and pesto soup recipe
- 750 ml water
- 375g frozen peas
- 2 spring onions (1 shallot or ½ an onion also works) – white part, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt – to taste
- ½ teaspoon lime juice (optional)
- 4 tablespoon pesto (made with olive oil only -check jar is using store bought)
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts (optional) – garnish
- Olive oil
Put the kettle on to boil the water you will need. Warm a little olive oil in a pot and scatter in the spring onions. If you’re using shallots or onions instead, allow them to soften as they fry for a few minutes. Add 750ml boiled water and all the other ingredients except the pine nuts. Blitz using a blender, food processor or hand wand until fairly smooth. If it seems too thin, rigorously simmer for 5 minutes or so to reduce and thicken the soup. Toast pine nuts in a dry pan to crisp them up and bring out their flavour and scatter over the soup. If it’s too salty – which can happen depending on your pesto – add a dollop of sour cream, crème fraiche or plain water.