NEIL'S RECIPES: GARDEN PEA SOUP WITH SCALLOPS AND BACON

by Cafe St Honoré in


"The warm, sweet, seared scallops contrast superbly with the chilled soup. It’s similar to a Spanish gazpacho but a bit lighter. Great on a hot day if you are eating outside in the garden, and so easy to do. Instead of scallops, try a mix of brown and white crab meat mixed with a little mayo. I always say this, but please don’t be tempted by cheap scallops. Buy hand-dived and ask where they came from."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

750ml vegetable or chicken stock, or water is fine

250g shelled, podded peas

1-2 tablespoons of cream, optional

4 hand-dived Isle of Mull scallops, cleaned and out of shell

1 small handful of chunky lardons of unsmoked bacon

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 knob of butterA few mint leaves

Good salt and pepper

A few salad leaves and edible flowers

METHOD

Heat the butter and half oil on a pot, then add the onion and garlic and sweat down very gently for a few minutes, without colouring. Season with salt and pepper, and when softened, add the stock and bring to the boil.

Simmer for a few minutes, then add the peas and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Season again, and add the mint leaves then blitz carefully in a liquidiser until smooth. Add some cream if you like, or more stock to make it easier to blitz. Pass the soup through a fine sieve to ensure it’s rich and silky. Keep in a warm place.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the scallops. Season in the pan and cook for a minute or two on each side. As you are frying the scallops, add in the bacon lardons and fry these too. Season as you go. Remove from the pan when just cooked. 

To serve, pour the soup into warmed bowls and place a scallop in the centre of each bowl. Scatter over the lardons of bacon and garnish with a few salad leaves and edible flowers.

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