Watercress, pea and sweetcorn soup with mint and onion popcorn

Watercress, pea and sweetcorn soup with mint and onion popcorn

By
From
Good Better Green
Serves
4

This is one of my absolute favourites, with the mountain of white popcorn gloriously set off against the greenest of greens.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
butter, ghee or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
110g peas, fresh or frozen
1 ear sweetcorn, kernels sliced off
125g yellow split peas, rinsed
625-750ml vegetable stock
200g watercress, leaves and stalks
375ml full-cream milk or milk substitute, such as almond or coconut milk
large handful mint leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the popcorn

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut or rapeseed oil, or butter
40g popping corn, preferably organic
2 teaspoons melted butter
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon finely shredded mint leaves, plus extra to serve
1/2 teaspoon dried garlic powder or granules

Method

  1. Heat a tiny bit of butter, ghee or olive oil in a saucepan and gently sweat the onion with a large pinch of salt until soft and translucent. Add the celery and cook for another few minutes before adding the garlic.
  2. Cook for another minute or so, then add half the peas and half the sweetcorn kernels, with the split peas and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes, until the split peas are tender.
  3. While the soup is cooking, make the popcorn. Heat the oil or butter in deep saucepan and scatter the popcorn over the base. Cover with a lid and wait for a few minutes until they start to pop.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the melted butter, salt, mint and garlic powder. As soon as the popping has slowed down signi­cantly, pour this mixture over the popcorn. Remove from the heat, cover with the lid and give the pan a few good shakes. Set aside.
  5. As soon as the split peas are tender, add the watercress and cook just until the leaves wilt. Remove from the heat and add the milk and mint leaves.
  6. Blend until smooth, then return to the pan, stir in the remaining peas and sweetcorn and season with salt and pepper. Reheat briefly and gently before serving.
  7. Serve the soup in bowls topped with a mound of popcorn, some shredded mint and the remaining spice crumbs from the bottom of the popcorn pan. Don’t stir the popcorn into the soup as you eat it, as it will turn soggy and not be nearly as much fun to eat.
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