Richard Buckley shares his hearty plant-based recipes to warm the soul this winter.
PEA AND HERB SOUPServes 4
FOR THE SOUP25g spinach 25g chives 25g parsley 2g chopped tarragon 250g freshly podded peas 50ml extra virgin olive oil 100g banana shallots, sliced 2.5g thyme leaves 350ml water Sea salt
FOR THE FOAM50g whole almonds 5ml white wine vinegar 1 clove of garlic 200ml water 2g sea salt Soy lecithin
FOR THE GARNISH100g broad beans, podded 50g sugar snap peas, deveined 50g freshly podded peas 1 spring onion, finely sliced 4 parsley or micro parsley leaves, plus extra to top 8 lemon balm leaves Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle 4 large radishes First make the soup. Blanch the spinach, chives, parsley and tarragon together until the parsley is wilted and a vibrant green, then shock in ice-cold water. Squeeze out the water using your hands, making a ball. Roughly chop and set aside. Refill the saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil the peas for a few minutes until cooked with no grainy texture, then drain and shock in ice-cold water. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the shallots. Cook until soft and translucent, then add the thyme. Cook for 1 minute, leave to cool completely, then transfer to a blender. Add the chopped herbs, peas and measured water. Blend until very smooth, pass through a sieve and season with salt to taste. Place in the fridge. Next, make the almond foam. Preheat the oven to (fan) 160°C/180°C. Put the almonds onto a small baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, until a dark colour. Transfer to a blender, add the vinegar, garlic, water and salt and blend until very smooth. Line a sieve with a 30cm square muslin and set it over a jug. Pour the almond mix into the sieve and collect up the corners to make a bag. Twist the bag to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard the almond meal in the bag. Measure the liquid, for every 100ml of liquid add 1.5g of soy lecithin. Using a stick blender, blend the lecithin into the mix. Next make the garnish. Blanch the broad beans, sugar snap peas and podded peas until just soft, then shock in ice-cold water. Dry on kitchen towel then place in a bowl, reserving a few sugar snap pea pods for garnish, add the spring onion and shred the parsley and lemon balm over. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place a pile of the bean and pea mix into 4 wide soup bowls. Finely slice the radish on a mandolin to give wafer thin slices and add to the pile along with a couple of just opened sugar snap pea pods. Using a stick blender, whizz the almond foam at high speed, just skimming the surface of the liquid – keep whizzing until you have a beautiful, dense foam. Spoon the foam next to the pea salad and top with a few sprigs of herbs. Add the soup or pour the soup at the table from a jug for added effect. [caption id="attachment_14808" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley, RRP $49.99, published by Quarto[/caption]