Spring onions are relatively easy to grow and so we always have plenty of them. They go into everything in the peaks seasons – dips, salads, soups, my miso bowls, with noodles, with pasta, you name it, we put spring onions into it.
We have made Spring Onion Soup before, a South Indian one, gentle and unspiced. So it was interesting to find a recipe for a similar soup. I suspect that leeks would also work well in this recipe. It is a lovely soup, lighter than the chickpea soups we have been cooking lately. Both whites and greens of the onions are used; they are sauteed with peas, zucchini and LOTS of garlic, and then blended with the stock. You might think that the garlic will overwhelm the dish, but the flavour mellows with the cooking.
This is an Ottolenghi recipe, and he uses a product from Iran called kashk. Kashk, or kishk, is produced by the fermentation and drying of yoghurt or curdled milk, to form a powder that can later be reconstituted. Iranian kashk is used to bulk up soups, giving them a wonderfully deep and sharp aroma, a bit like feta but in runny form. But don’t worry if you can’t get hold of kashk – a mixture of crème fraîche and grated parmesan (or other mature cheese) is a good substitute.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Browse all of our Soups. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
Spring Onion and Pea Soup
700g larger spring onions
40g unsalted butter
50ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 whole medium garlic heads, cloves peeled and halved lengthways
3 bay leaves
300g frozen peas
1 medium courgette, diced
1.3 litres vegetable stock
80g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
60g kashk (available from Middle Eastern shops, or use a crème fraîche/parmesan mix)
20g mint leaves, roughly chopped
grated zest of 0.5 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
Cut the white of the spring onions into 1.5cm-long slices and the green into 2.5cm-long segments.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the oil, white spring onion slices, halved garlic cloves and some salt and pepper, and sauté on moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the green spring onion segments and the bay leaves, cook for about 10 minutes, add the peas and courgette, and cook for another five minutes.
Remove half the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Cover the remaining vegetables with the stock, bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Remove the bay leaves, add the parsley and blitz in a food processor or with a hand-held blender. Return the reserved vegetables to the pan and warm up gently. Stir in the kashk, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Transfer the soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with chopped mint and lemon zest, and finish with a drizzle of oil.