Sunday, 11 August 2013

Silver beet, pea and pancetta soup

When my Dad turned 80 a few months ago, I hosted a lunch for him and 30 of his friends. I think it is kinda cool to fill a room with 30 friends when you're 80! Everyone commented rather drolly that it was so nice to get together for a birthday rather than a funeral. When you're cooking for a crowd this big, you have to be smart with food choices. When you're cooking for a crowd this big and this old, you have to be extra smart with food choices. Soup, of course, is a no-brainer. Ths one is a regular of mine, assembles in seconds, tastes really good and the green colour against a white soup bowl is mesmerising. 

Try and cook it before your Dad turns 80. 

Serves 4


1 teaspoon vegetable oil
8 slices pancetta (or prosciutto) chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch silver beet, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 cups frozen peas
½ cup pouring cream (more or less to your liking)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
cracked black pepper
To serve: lemon slice, goats curd,chopped chives, bread roll/sourdough


Put the oil, pancetta and onion in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for three minutes or until soft. Add the stock, increase the heat, cover and bring to the boil.

Add the silver beet and peas, and cook for about 4 minutes or until tender.

Take the saucepan off the heat, let it cool for about 5 minutes, then get out your stick blender, and whiz away until it is smooth. Add cream, black pepper and lemon juice and stir.

Pour into bowls, top with lemon, goats curd, chives, a quick grind of black pepper if it takes your fancy and pop the bread on the side.

Thanks to Donna Hay for this one. It's from her book "Simple Essentials - Salad + Vegetables"