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Going GaGa for Green (Soup & Sorbet)

I sometimes plan my meals in advance by the week. Today I had written in my notebook to make Pea and Lettuce Soup. A perfect summer meal when served together with warm garlic and coriander pitas. I also promised a friend that would be coming over later that I would make sorbet (because she heard about the grape-lime sorbet from last week)... but this time I happened to make Kiwi-Lime sorbet. So it was looking pretty in pea green and kiwi-lime green. It was a lovely meal :)

Let's start with the sorbet - because you have to make it in advance. I followed the same recipe directions from the Grape-Lime Sorbet recipe. I didn't have kiwi juice though, so what I did was blend 4 ripe, peeled kiwi's in my blender...

A tangent here: A couple of years ago I finally got a juicer for Christmas - but it wasn't a top-of-the-line kind of juicer. It broke down again and again - or shall - I say it overheated. The thing is - it could juice soft fruits but it couldn't juice carrots and I love carrot juice. So I got rid of it. Today though, I was wishing I had a juicer to do the kiwi's. It was a lot of work to blend them and then transfer that pulpy juice to the sieve and then try and get as many of the seeds separate from the juice as I could. If you have a juicer, let me know, pretty please, how many kiwi's makes a cup of juice. Thank you.

Then I added the cup of kiwi juice-pulp together with the simple syrup and juice from two limes - plus extra lime zest because I love the smell of lime zest. I wouldn't mind zesting limes on a regular basis... they smell so sublime! Mark happened to be in the kitchen while I was working and apparently the smell of limes drove him into a frenzy as well. He grabbed his camera and said - I would like to capture the smell of that on film. I think he did a pretty terrific job.

How to make Kiwi-Lime Sorbet:
To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 2 cups water. Boil for 5 minutes. Take off heat. Mix in 1 cup kiwi juice and pulp and the juice from 2 limes... and lime zest (optional). Freeze in metal container and half way through freezing process - about 4-6 hours - take out and blend with a fork. Then return to freezer and freeze until firm - about another 4 hours.


Now, onto dinner - the Pea and Lettuce Soup was adapted from a recipe from Woman's Day magazine which I first tried 6 years ago. I clipped it and saved it and everyone loved it. But then I moved here to the Netherlands where everyone eats that traditional split pea soup with smoke sausage and then I just ate that for years and years... until the other day when I came across this clipping again and decided to make it again - vegetarian, of course. And then we served it with those lovely garlic and coriander pitas - yum yum. It was very filling and it has a nice texture from the lettuce leaves and the bbq-style tofu I served mine with was yum yum, too. From Woman's Day - here is the original recipe for you meat eaters:

Pea, Lettuce and Bacon Soup (clipped from Woman's Day 5/25/04)
Serves 8

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
8 oz bacon strips, chopped
2 lb frozen baby peas
6 cups 100% fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded (16 cups)
Garnish: watercress sprigs

1. Heat oil in a 4- to 5-qt pot over medium heat. Add onions and bacon; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are soft, but not browned. Add peas, broth, and 1/2 the lettuce. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, uncover and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Let cool slightly, then puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Return to pot, add remaining lettuce and stir over medium-low heat until warmed through. Top each serving with watercress.

My version is similar and better ;)

Pea and Lettuce Soup
Serves 4

1 Tbsp liquid butter/margarine
1 onion, finely diced
1 pound frozen baby peas
2 1/2 cups water plus 3 square bouillon cubes (1 cube per 200ml water)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
1/2 package Alpro Soya tofu reepjes (spicy little tofu cubes - yum yum)
2 Tbsp Bull's Eye original BBQ sauce

1. Heat liquid butter or margarine in pot over medium heat. Add onions and fry until golden. Add peas, water, bouillon cubes, and 1/2 of the lettuce. Cover, bring to boil - reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Then with immersion blender - blend thoroughly. Add the remaining lettuce and stir through.
2. In a separate skillet fry up the tofu reepjes together with the BBQ sauce. Let fry until almost browning on all sides. Then add this to the finished soup and stir through. Ladle into bowls, serve with warmed pita bread or another really good soup bread to soak up all the yumminess.


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