Friday, 11 October 2013

Spinach, lettuce and pea soup, and a catch up

This week I have made two pea soups.  Fresh pea soup.  For some time I had been planning to make something like Ricki's Spinach, pea and lettuce soup.  I had a manky old lettuce that needed using.  Then I discovered that The Guardian Word of Mouth blog had linked to a pea and roasted garlic soup I made years ago.  How exciting!  Only the picture was terrible.  I remade the soup and updated the photograph.

Peas in soups seems a brilliant idea.  Lettuce in soup seems wrong.  Yet I am not huge on lettuce in salad.  I love it in an occasional salad sandwich.  But you have to eat a lot of salad sandwiches to use it all up.  The idea of giving new life to an old lettuce in a risotto or soup is hugely appealing.  If you want more lettuce inspiration, I have a list of recipe ideas towards the end of the post or you can read about when lettuce was a sacred sex symbol.

I didn't really follow Ricki's recipe.  I just used what I had on hand.  It worked really well.  I partly attribute this to the lovely vegetable stock I made recently.  Good stock does wonders for any soup.  E and I have been eating quite a lot of soup lately in an attempt to make our diet more healthy. This one was thick and satisfying, albeit a little grassy (but in a good, healthy way).

Unusually for this blog, it is almost two weeks since I posted a recipe.  I have been too busy catching up on posts from September that I put aside during Vegan MoFo.  (And there are still a few more holiday posts to go.)

But this seems like a good time to catch up some October activities.  Above is a picture of belly dancers at Bell Street Mall in Heidelberg last weekend.  They were colourful and engaging.  We were there to see E play with his ukelele group.

I had a crafternoon with my nieces and nephew in Geelong last week.  I packed up lots of craft papers and paints and toilet rolls and we made a birthday card for my dad (with flowers like on this post).  This took longer than I expected.  But the little troopers rallied and then went on to make some butterflies out of toilet paper rolls.  They painted the wings and we stuck wings and antennae on with sticky tape.  I can never resist a googly eye opportunity for the faces.

Sylvia and I were at CERES (below) for lunch and a play with her friend Amelia.  This environmental park is such a relaxing place to sit and enjoy the outdoors.  It is lovely to wander past chooks and vegie gardens on the way to the cafe.  Sylvia and Amelia discovered ropes hanging off an old tree.  They would swing for a short while before their arms would get tired and they would beg to be helped down.  We also have had lunch at Sugardough recently and I plan to write more about it soon.

My kitchen has been busy too.  I have sourdough bread underway.  Doughnuts are frozen in the fridge.  The kitchen table is laden with sugar, butter and chocolate for a birthday cake for my dad.  Below is a sneak preview.  I made a small white chocolate mudcake to experiment with making it gluten free.  It was amazing served with stewed rhubarb and strawberries.

You might also notice in a few photos that Sylvia is enjoying picking little posies of flowers that appear in glasses in our kitchen.  We were very excited to discover pink bottlebrush in our front garden.

Not only are there photos and recipes to catch up on.  I also have links to a few random articles I have enjoyed lately:

I am sending this soup to Jacqueline for No Croutons Required (a monthly vegetarian soup and salad event).  The theme this month is smooth blended soups.  I am also sending it to Ricki Heller for her Wellness Weekends event.

Some ways of using lettuce on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Warm lettuce recipes (no salads) on the internet:

Spinach, pea and lettuce soup
Inspired by Ricki Heller
Serves 4

1/2 tsp olive oil
2 spring onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups peas (I used frozen)
300g silken tofu
250g spinach
250g lettuce
nutritional yeast flakes, to serve

Heat olive oil over low heat in a stockpot (the vegies take up a lot of volume before they wilt.) Fry spring onions and garlic in oil for a couple of minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until wilted. Puree. Serve warm with nutritional yeast flakes sprinkled over the top.

On the Stereo:
Figgy Duff: a Retrospective 1974-1993

18 comments:

  1. Congrats on your soup feature! I love roasted garlic so I'm sure I'd enjoy it. This one looks lovely too though. I've never cooked with lettuce before either although I've considered trying some braised little gem a la nigella.
    I'm always so impressed with all your crafting! Do you come up with these ideas yourself?

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    1. Thanks Emma - roasted garlic is so good and easy if you have a little time - craft is easy with pinterest - I have a craft board on my pinterest account where I keep ideas - not only is it good for me but easy to wade through with sylvia and talk about ideas.

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  2. All so very green and fitting for your GGG space :-)
    And totally agree about more female characters needed that aren't just fairies and princesses...I do love me some Dirt Girl World.

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    1. Thanks brydie - I did love how colourful the photos were - I've never got into dirt girl world but I am always happy that she isn't a princess

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  3. Hear hear - girls need something a bit more inspiring than twinkly pink stereotypes. That crafternoon looks awesome fun. I love a bit of cooked lettuce - I normally fry it off with bit of shallots and peas as a side for Sunday lunch. Love the look of the soup!

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    1. Thanks Joey - one of my favourite role models for Sylvia is actually Penny in fireman sam - she is a smart strong woman with short hair in a practical uniform. I have never fried lettuce but this sounds excellent (and quick - even better)

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  4. I am delighted by this recipe because I missed Ricki's original soup with lettuce and often end up with half a lettuce I don't get through - left to my own devices I only buy baby spinach as I find that easier to use, but my Aussie Farmers Direct box often includes a lettuce. Next time I'm face with the remaining wilting half, I shall know what to do!

    Your cake looks beautiful too and that environmental park + cafe sounds like just my type of place.

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    1. I don't know how I would go with lettuces in a vegie box because I don't go through them very quickly - get enthused about them every now and again when I want a salad sandwich and then they linger... and linger. Am sure you would love CERES

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  5. I love how green green green this soup is!

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  6. Manky lettuce is a hard one, isn't it. I love the look of your experimental mud cake - yum!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I think the experiment was better than the one for the party but will write about it soon

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  7. I'm one of those people that loves cooked lettuce. My mum used to make a dish of it when we were growing up. But then again I am a lettuce freak. I know, it's odd! :P

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I didn't know there were such things as lettuce freaks - that is odd indeed- though I am aware of quite a few lettuce snobs :-)

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  8. Soup looks delicious - and very healthy :-)
    I also read an article about doctors being depressed - no surprises. Shame more doctors don't know how to prescribe dietary changes to help more patients get truly better!

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    1. Thanks Sandy - we expect doctors to know so much but really their knowledge is quite limited - I was surprised to be told off about my use of glasses by an optom and then visit a GP who was doing exactly what I had done. I wish more doctors knew about diet but I think holism is still a bit wishful in the medical world!

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  9. Aww, the paper roll butterflies are too cute! <3 And your soup looks wonderful! I'm not a big lettuce eater either, but I like to add chopped romaine lettuce or lamb's lettunce to pan dishes for a nice crunch. I also like when it's slightly warmed.

    I feel very embarrassed I didn't manage to contribute a recipe to your long pasta contest! I really wanted to, but in the past weeks I had a depression and didn't get anything done as wanted. :( I hope you forgive me that!

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    1. Thanks Kath - a bit of crunch or a flash or green from lettuce is always great in dinner - E loves anything warmed so I should do warm lettuce more! Don't worry about pasta event - just look after yourself, ok?

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