I've been keeping a vegetable garden for fifteen years now, and I've always been surprised at how gardening never gets repetitive. Even when you plant exactly the same crops year after year, how they grow and produce differs enormously. And so does the culinary mood of the (or at least this) cook-gardener, as she walks the garden in the early morning or late afternoon, looking at what's ripe, and finding inspiration for dinner.
It was on one of those walks that I decided to make something different with the peas I'd just harvested, and create a summertime pea soup - a raw pea soup, given that when you grow your own vegetables and eat them freshly picked, you want to get the full benefit of all those nutrients unspoiled by cooking. So I picked some herbs, pulled a couple of onions, and took that basket of ingredients and inspiration to the kitchen to make dinner.
It was one of the easiest dishes I've ever cooked:
- harvest peas
- enlist kids to shell them (but don't let your helpers munch them all before you start)
- in a blender, cream peas + herbs + a couple of red onions + fresh goat cheese + olive oil + salt + pepper
- decorate with chopped chives
- serve with freshly-baked rosemary crackers