Pea,Feta & Scallop Soup
Scallops have been a favourite of mine since I was a little girl. They were seen as a real luxury and when picking mussels on West Ireland’s coast we would sometimes try to catch scallops by hand. I never managed! This soup is visually beautiful and it balances the scallops really well. Try, if you can to buy hand-dived scallops that are as fresh as possible.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
You will need
- 1 teaspoon groundnut oil
- ½ bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 500g frozen peas
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Large handful basil
- 1 heaped tablespoon pine nuts
- 40g feta cheese
- a dash of olive oil (optional)
- 4 slices rye bread
- 8 hand-dived scallops, off the shell, at room temperature
- Ground nut oil for brushing
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the groundnut oil in a large non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the peas and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Place the basil, pine nuts and feta in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Add a dash of olive oil if the mixture is if too stiff. Remove half the pesto from the food processor and set aside.
- Transfer the soup to a food processor (with half of the pesto still in it). Blitz until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and keep warm over a low heat.
- Toast the rye bread. Cut each slice in half and spread with the remaining pesto. Ladle the soup into warmed serving bowls, while you quickly cook the scallops.
- Heat a heavy based frying pan over a high heat. Brush the scallops with groundnut oil, add to the pan and cook for 50 seconds, turn over and cook for a further 50 seconds. Top the soup with the hot scallops.
- Ground over some black pepper and serve with the toasted pesto rye bread.
Ground over some black pepper and serve with the toasted pesto rye bread.
When cooking scallops, watch them very carefully as they literally take seconds to cook. Don’t overcook them or they will become rubbery and dry. The beauty is in their salty flavour and succulent texture. They should be soft and slightly translucent when cooked, not hard and white.