Asparagus, pea & mint soup with Parmesan crisps

Jody says: “A great alternative to croutons, Parmesan crisps are quick and easy to prepare”

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Recipe by: Jody Spencer

Starter
Ingredients

  • 1 medium potato
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper
  • 300g asparagus
  • 700g frozen petit pois peas
  • ½ small bunch of mint, roughly chopped

For the garnish

  • 4 small radishes, sliced (optional)
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • Chopped mint
  • 50g salted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 75g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method

  1. Peel the potato and dice.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan with the butter. Add the onions and potatoes and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly. Add the chopped pepper and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, trim the asparagus. Reserve 12 spears for the garnish. Roughly chop the remaining spears into chunks.
  5. Heat the grill to high. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Sprinkle the Parmesan into 6cm strips. Grill for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Remove from the oven and gently remove the crisps with a palate knife. Set aside.
  6. Add the asparagus and peas to the soup and bring back to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir through ¾ of the mint. Blitz in a food processor or with a hand-held blender until smooth. Check the seasoning.
  8. Boil a kettle and cook the remaining asparagus spears in a small saucepan for 1 minute, then refresh under cold water.
  9. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the sliced radishes, asparagus spears, the remaining mint and peanuts. Serve with the Parmesan crisps.

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