Mark Greenaway recipe: Pea veloute

Pea veloute. Picture: Jane Barlow

Pea veloute. Picture: Jane Barlow

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Pea veloute is a real favourite at Restaurant Mark Greenaway, so I think it’s time to reveal the recipe!

What is a veloute I hear you ask – well it is one of the five “mother sauces” created in France in the early 20th century. Veloute is traditionally a sauce but I’ve altered the recipe to make it more of a soup, although maintaining the main principles. It is usually made with a stock base, and the name actually makes it sound a lot more difficult to make than it really is. It was first put together by a chef who has inspired a lot of my dishes, Auguste Escoffier.

After a cold winter of eating hearty thick soups it’s now time for some much lighter ones, and this pea dish is great served cold on a hot summer afternoon. I love the deep green colour that the peas give the soup. They are also a very healthy food and, just like last week’s mushrooms, are extremely under estimated. A great source of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and anti-oxidants the pea is also very low in fat. Just make sure you get the right kind of pea as there are three main variants; pisum sativum (the one we eat), arvense (the field pea which is mostly used as animal fodder) and elatius (which is edible, but is more commonly grown for its flowers).

There is actually proof that peas were eaten around 12,000 years ago, and yet they are still a favourite in the modern-day kitchen.

If you get them in fresh from a local supplier, they really don’t require a lot of preparation. And the less time you spend prepping ingredients, the more time you can spend perfecting new dishes.

I’d love to see your efforts at this dish, so tweet them to me @markgreenaway!

Did you know: despite being known as a vegetable in the kitchen, each pea pod and its contents are actually fruit.

• This is a dish which can be served hot or cold, and is great for that midweek shortcut or sophisticated dish for a special occasion.

Ingredients

1kg freshly podded peas

150g unsalted butter

1 large white onion (peeled)

500mls milk

200mls double cream

Method

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan.

Dice the onion as small as you can.

Sweat the onion in the butter slowly for about ten minutes until it is translucent.

Add milk and cream and bring to the boil.

Once boiling add all the peas and bring back to the boil.

Boil the pea soup for two minutes only.

Blend the soup until silky smooth.

Pass through a fine sieve and season with salt to taste.

Chill the soup in a bowl over ice to retain the vibrant green colour and either eat chilled or warm up – but be careful not to boil the soup again as this will cause it to discolour.