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Summer treats are easy-peasy

Holiday recipes to keep youngsters entertained on rainy days indoors

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Summer Pea Soup

Summer Pea Soup

Summer Pea Soup

The summer holidays are here, schools are off and if you're looking to keep younger members of the family entertained, particularly on rainy days, why not try to get them into the kitchen for these summer recipes that are easy to make - and easy to enjoy.

Firstly, I have my summer pea soup, a light and quick soup made using either fresh garden peas or frozen peas. If you wish to make a more grown-up version of this soup, for a dinner party perhaps, then you could dice and cook some chorizo on a pan and add it to the soup before serving. It gives a wonderful flavour to the soup.

This soup can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for four to five days (covered, of course). It can also be frozen for up to three months.

When blitzing this soup, do it in small batches as steam expands quickly in a blender and this can make the ingredients splatter out and cause burns. Cover the top of the blender with a folded kitchen towel to prevent any splatters.

Another firm favourite in our house during the summer are Sophie's Blueberry Muffins. Kids just love making these - and eating them. They are ideal for picnics or just to share with family and friends. A little sprinkling of vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar on top works well too, although it's not strictly necessary.

Blackberries or raspberries are also delicious in this recipe. Whatever fruit you choose, it is important not to over-beat the mixture once the fruit is added as it will break down the fruit and turn the batter blue if using blueberries.

Allow to cool before eating and enjoy!

Happy cooking,

Kevin

 

SUMMER PEA SOUP

INGREDIENTS serves 4

2 garlic cloves, halved

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

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1 medium potato, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 sprig thyme

450g peas, fresh or frozen

700ml chicken stock

100ml pouring cream

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp crème fraiche to serve

2-3 sprigs of mint (optional)

Salt and pepper

 

Method

1 Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

2 Over medium heat, warm a saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil and add the chopped onions, garlic, thyme and potato. Sauté for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

3 Quickly add in the peas to the saucepan and stir the vegetables to coat the peas with the coloured onions for a moment or two. Add in a pinch of salt and some black pepper.

4 Next, pour in the chicken stock and the pouring cream and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the peas have softened, yet still retain their green colour.

5 Transfer to a food processor and carefully blend until the soup is smooth, or for best results, blend the soup in small batches using a handheld blender.

6 Return the soup to a clean saucepan and stir in the fresh butter. Season if required.

7 Stir in the crème fraiche just before serving and garnish with some fresh mint if desired.

 

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

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INGREDIENTS makes 12

100g butter, diced and at room temperature

125g caster sugar

2 large eggs

150g natural yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

125g blueberries, fresh or frozen

 

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180C.

2 Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

3 In a bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat for one minute, then mix in the yogurt and vanilla extract.

4 Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients. Stir until fully combined, then gently fold in the blueberries.

5 Using two dessert spoons, divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the muffin.

6 Remove from the oven. Set aside to cool for about five minutes. Gently remove the muffins from the tray and enjoy.

 

Top tip: For muffins to dye for freeze your berries before baking

When making the blueberry muffins, I usually like to freeze the blueberries before adding them to the muffin batter, this will ensure they are cooked perfectly during the baking process.

If you use fresh berries instead of frozen ones, a lot of the juice and dye from the berries will be released into the batter prior to baking and the fruit won't hold its shape as well.

So pack up your freezer with lots of berry goodies.

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