Two ways to cook ... peas

A healthy, easy-to-make soup and a vegetarian dish with papparelle

Vanessa’s way... pea & tarragon soup with crispy pancetta

Vanessa’s way... pea & tarragon soup with crispy pancetta

 

VANESSA’S WAY... PEA & TARRAGON SOUP WITH CRISPY PANCETTA

If you treasure your freezer as I do, a deliciously healthy easy-to-make soup using either garden peas or petit pois will add variety to your family repertoire.

I use a homemade chicken stock, which gives it a heartier flavour, but a good quality vegetable stock will do nicely. The addition of tarragon and chilli elevates it to dinner party standard, when you include the attractive garnish.

This simple soup was popular at a fundraising pop-up restaurant we hosted in the cookery school, where we gave it a restaurant-style cappuccino froth, and sprinkled it with crispy pancetta and pea shoots.

Much loved by chefs, fresh pea shoots are my latest discovery. The Happy Pear now sells them in small punnets and they are great tossed through salads or in sandwiches. Ask your local store manager to stock them.
 

GARY’S WAY... HAND-ROLLED PAPPARDELLE WITH LEMON, GARDEN PEAS, PEA & BASIL PESTO

It’s hard to think of an ingredient that causes more arguments in the Viewmount House kitchen than garden peas. I love them, I love the pop the pod makes, the flavour and the freshness. Usually I’m munching on petit fours and driving my pastry chef Eoin bonkers, so it’s a nice change to go with something healthy – although sous chef Daniel goes mad. He doesn’t like me eating the stock. He’s no craic.

This is a vegetarian dish I often make in Viewmount.

It’s essential to leave a little bite in the pasta. I love papparelle as the large surface area catches plenty of sauce, but you can cut it whichever way suits you.

It’s up to you how zingy you like your sauce, so add more lemon to make it sharper.

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