Cucumber and Pea Soup

One of the highlights of my freezer life is the discovery that Birds Eye petits pois now come in a re-sealable bag. So its goodbye to frozen peas encrusted in the ice as the freezer furs up and farewell to blobs of compacted peas because my bag sealing is clearly poor. I love sweet little petits pois and like new potatoes, always cook more than I need so I have leftovers. Half a pound of them went into this summery soup with a whole cucumber and a few leftover new potatoes. To avoid bitterness, I removed skin and seeds from the cucumber and made the soup with chicken stock. I keep every chicken carcass and a bag of bones from chicken meals bagged up in the freezer and when I have enough, cook them up in a pan of water with leek trimmings (also frozen), a chopped onion (with skin, for colour), a bay leaf and carrot when I have one, and then freeze the stock. Along with butter, breadcrumbs, bacon, prawns, and individually frozen sausages and chicken thighs, oh and ice, that’s about the sum total of what you’ll find in my little kitchen freezer. This soup is a breeze to make and quite lovely. If liked, serve with a dollop of cream and chopped mint.

Serves 2, with seconds

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min

250g cooked petits pois or fresh peas

125g scraped, cooked new potatoes

1 cucumber

600ml chicken stock

squeeze lemon

     Place peas and chunked potatoes in the bowl of a food processor. Use a potato peeler to peel the cucumber. Cut it in half and then lengthways halve the pieces. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds and their watery surround. Chunk the cucumber and add to the bowl with the stock, squeeze of lemon and generous pinch salt. Blitz for a few minutes – I run it through the soup programme on my Kitchen Aid processor twice – until completely smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and heat through gently, stirring often. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon. That’s it. Good hot, warm or chilled.