Chilled Green Pea Soup

So you’ve probably noticed I took a big time hiatus from FML and I apologize in advance for my negligence. Sometimes life takes over and we forget the important things in life…like taking 50 different pictures of a salad or re-testing pasta sauce until it’s just right.  But I’ve reprioritized my life and I’m back on track!

Even during the craziness of my life, I came up with this recipe and it’s super quick and easy and can be enjoyed all week in between your two jobs, yoga classes, shopping spree, Sunday brunches, and endless errands.

 

Chilled Green Pea Soup

 

Makes 6 Servings

1 serving = 1 cup

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 bunch green garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2# shelling or English peas (should be about 4 cups of peas once shelled)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese

 

Just a couple quick notes: Green garlic is usually available at farmer’s markets in the late spring. If your market doesn’t have green garlic you can substitute it with 4-5 cloves of regular sliced garlic. Also if you can’t get your hands on fresh peas, go ahead and use frozen. Just make sure they’re thawed before you cook with them!

 

Green Garlic

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your green garlic and onions and sauté until lightly golden and soft, about 10-15 minutes.

 

Next add your peas and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add your broth of choice and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until peas are tender, but not mushy.

Add the pea and broth mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (You might have to do this in batches). While the mixture is pureeing, add the mascarpone until fully incorporated and creamy.

You can either serve this soup warm or chilled. When serving, drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top and garnish with herbs or microgreens of your choice. Nums!

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Elegant and Easy Weeknight Supper

I know the past few recipes I shared had a laundry list of ingredients, so I wanted to come up with a meal this time around that had less ingredients and shared some “crossover ingredients” (ingredients used in both recipes) that was also really satisfying and delicious.

I found this meal to be like an updated classic of sautéed chicken with mashed potatoes with a little more sophistication and it took no time at all.

Sautéed Chicken Paillards with Grape Sauce

Makes 1 serving

1 serving = 6 Points Plus

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 6 oz chicken breast, cut into thin slices (paillard)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ¾ cup red seedless grapes, cut into half (can also use green grapes)
  • ½ cup of chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (feel free to substitute with sherry wine)

Cut the chicken breast into thin slices or paillards. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat your sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sauté the chicken for approximately one minute on each side and then set aside (chicken will not be cooked through, don’t worry).

Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Then add the grapes and sauté for another 2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Add the chicken broth and thyme and reduce by half.

Add the sherry vinegar and the chicken breasts to the pan and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through.

Cauliflower and Potato Mash

Makes 3 servings

1 serving = ¾ cup = 4 Points Plus

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

12 oz Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half (leave skins on)

2 garlic cloves, cut in half

1 cup skim milk

4 sprigs of thyme

1 ½ tbsp of Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread with Flax (you can use real butter if you prefer)

I never use the microwave to cook food. I actually didn’t even own a microwave for 2 years. However, I recently discovered that steaming some vegetables works really well in microwave, especially cauliflower. I place my florets in a large bowl (microwave safe) with about 2 tbsp of water. Season the cauliflower liberally with salt and pepper. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and cook for about 8-9 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender, checking every 4 minutes. When cooked through, drain water and set aside.

In a separate pot, add potatoes and garlic and cover with COLD water. Season very liberally with salt and bring pot up to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. In a separate small pot, add thyme and milk and bring up to a simmer and let the thyme infuse into the milk.

When potatoes are cooked through, drain the water and place back into the pot (make sure you add the garlic as well). Stir potatoes and garlic until the water has evaporated and they look very dry. Add your steamed cauliflower and milk (without the thyme) and begin to mash. Towards the end of the mashing, add your Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread with Flax and season again with salt and pepper.

I like to serve the chicken and potatoes with a simple green vegetable. In this case, it was garlicky sautéed spinach with lemon. The chicken is simple enough to make everyday but also elegant enough for company and if you have grapes lying around in your frig it’s an easy dish to throw together. And don’t skip out on the sherry vinegar; the acidity brings out the sweetness of the grapes.

The cauliflower and potato mash was the biggest surprise of all. I love the texture of potatoes with the skins on and the pieces of cauliflower added another dimension. If you drain your cauliflower properly and dry your potatoes out after they have been cooked you will end up with a fluffy and rich tasting side dish. Enjoy these dishes sometime this week, you won’t be disappointed!

Owww...how elegant!