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Chilled pea and beansoup

Pea pods have a deliriously strong pea taste. They are too fibrous and stringy to be included in a soup, but if added during the first part of cooking and then removed, they will add extra flavour.
Frozen peas and beans may be used. In this
case, you will need 350 g (12 oz) peas and 225 g (8 oz) beans. Do not defrost them before cooking.
To serve the soup hot, make up to the end of stage 3, but do not cool. Pour into a saucepan, heat gently without boiling, then stir in the yoghurt mixture. Garnish with chopped mint.

ingredients

serves 4
750 g (1 1/2 lb) peas, shelled, and 6 of the best pods reserved
500 g (1 lb) broad beans, shelled
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
850 ml (1 1/2 pints) chicken stock
1 sprig fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 ml (1/4 pint) natural yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon curry paste
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
4 small mint sprigs, to garnish

method

1. Melt the margarine in a frying-pan. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft and lightly coloured.

2. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then add the peas, reserved pods, beans, mint sprig and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pods and mint sprig, leave the soup to cool slightly, then work in a blender or food processor until smooth. Or work through the medium blade of a vegetable mill. Leave until completely cold.

4. Mix the yoghurt in a bowl with the curry paste and garlic, if using, then beat in about 6 tablespoons of the soup until smooth. Stir the
yoghurt mixture into the soup, making sure that it is well mixed in. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

5. To serve: pour the soup into 4 chilled individual soup bowls and float a mint sprig on top of each.

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