Minted pea and wild garlic soup

Pea and wild garlic soup MA14.jpg

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
8 spring onions, sliced
225g potatoes, peeled and diced
handful of wild garlic
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
350g shelled peas
handful of wild garlic leaves
handful of fresh mint leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp double cream
chopped wild garlic leaves to garnish

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until softened for 1 min.
Add the potatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 mins. Add the peas.

Roughly chop the wild garlic and mint leaves and add to the pan, simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly then purée. Return to the pan and reheat gently.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Serve topped with a little cream and wild garlic leaves to garnish.

Other wild garlic recipes from our Mar/Apr 2014 issue:

• Wild garlic butter
• New potato salad with wild garlic mayonnaise
• Pan-fried sea bass with lemon and wild garlic
• Oat cakes with wild garlic
• Lamb kebabs with a wild garlic baste

Light and dark mint chocolate stars

300g plain chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
75g white chocolate
½ tsp. natural peppermint extract

Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. Break 200g of the plain chocolate into squares and place in a small heatproof bowl. Finely chop the remaining plain chocolate and set aside. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. The bottom of the pan should not touch the surface of the water. Heat gently, stirring until the chocolate has almost melted. Remove from the heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry.
Continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted then gradually stir in the chopped chocolate. Pour the chocolate on to the parchment and, using a palette knife, spread out into an even layer measuring 30 x 24cm. Break the white chocolate into squares and place in another small heatproof bowl, stand over the hot water, stirring until melted. Stir in the peppermint extract then, working quickly, pipe or drizzle the white chocolate in lines on top of the plain chocolate. Using a cocktail stick, drag the chocolate in lines in the opposite direction to feather the white chocolate into the dark. Keep in a cool place until just firm but not fully set, then using a metal cutter, cut the chocolate into star shapes. Allow to fully set before moving.


Other chocolate recipes in our Christmas 2013 issue:

• Rose, violet and white chocolate discs
• Lemon and white chocolate truffles
• Chocolate dipped dried fruits
• Salted caramel chocolates

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