Recipe: Samphire, potato and pea soup
The gently cooked peas and potato in this rustic broth provide the perfect backdrop for samphire's crisp salty flavour. If you buy your samphire from a supermarket, you will need one packet of 70 - 90g. It should not need picking over. If you buy it from a fishmonger, you may wish to cut off the thicker, tougher stalks.
● 6 tbsp olive oil
● 2 white onions, peeled and finely chopped
● 1 litre light chicken stock or water
● 2 sticks of celery, chopped finely
● 700g very fresh peas, shelled
● 2 or 3 large potatoes, peeled
● 2 smallish leeks, sliced thinly
● Two generous handfuls of samphire, thoroughly picked over and roughly chopped
● Juice of quarter of a lemon
● A tbsp of freshly chopped parsley
● Peel and chop the onions quite small. Cook these gently in 6 tbsp of olive oil until fully softened. Set aside.
Pour the water or stock in a large pot and bring up to the boil. Tip in the celery and simmer until tender. Add the peas and simmer until tender.
● Chop the potatoes into small cubes, roughly 1cm square. Wash thoroughly until the cold water runs clear and in a separate pot, boil gently for about 15 minutes until just done. Drain and add to the peas. Add the onions.
● Stir gently and season. Lay in the sliced leeks and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the samphire and lemon juice and stir gently one last time. Strew the parsley over the soup, add one last flourish of olive oil and then take to the table where bowls, bread and butter have been laid out.