Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Supermarkets and Pea & Mint soup

OK, so it IS annoying that every time I want to go to the supermarket it’s shut, but I suppose that’s part of the charm of Corsica. Rudy, who works at the local supermarket was absolutely horrified when I told him about 24 hour Tescos and Asda and just couldn’t understand what people might want to shop at times convenient to them ‘but what about the siesta for the people working in the shop?’ – what can you say to that?

Anyway, although they are open for less hours than a cell in a maximum security prison, the Corsica supermarkets do have one redeeming feature, and that is that you can only buy food that is actually in season. Yes, that may not seem like an advantage, but until I moved here, I didn’t realise how limited my diet had become. When you can buy anything at anytime of the year you tend to stick to what you like rather than experimenting.

We are also blessed with huge amounts of wild herbs that just spring up all over the place. In the grounds where we live we have wild asparagus, fennel, mint, thyme, rosemary, and wild garlic. The asparagus is coming to the end of it’s season now and those that haven’t been picked are going to grain, so having picked handfuls of mint this morning I thought I’d make pea and mint soup – yum!


In Corsica, people tend to share and share alike with their neighbours whether it’s a batch of soup, sanglier off the barbecue or a delicious tarte made with fruits from the garden, so the quantities given below should be enough for two families;

- 1kg peas – tinned are actually best
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium potato
- Handful of mint (or less if you prefer)

Chop the potato into small cubes and boil for approx. 15 minutes with a sprig of crushed mint. In the meantime, finely chop the onion and remaining mint. When the potatoes are cooked, put the peas, onion, mint and drained potatoes into a large saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Blend with a hand blender and add more water to bring to the desired consistency. Delicious served with crusty bread and Roquefort cheese! The soup will also freeze well.

Bon appétit!

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