Fresh Pea Soup

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My love of love stories began with Jane Austen. Before Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, there was Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy, Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars, and Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth. 

Austen came into my life by way of my mother. She and I watched all the film adaptations of Austen's classics, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion together while I was growing up. who I loved them all, but my favorite, our favorite, was Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy, in the PBS adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. We would rent the VHS tapes, all 13 of them, at the local library we used to frequent in Las Cruces. We loved Elizabeth's stubbornness and Darcy's pride, Mrs. Bennet's absurd remarks, and Mr. Bennet's gentle manner. 

It was with pleasure that I stumble across Dinner with Mr. Darcy, a cookbook by Pen Vogler, featuring recipes inspired by the novels and letters of Jane Austen.

My love of love stories began with Jane Austen. Before Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, there was Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy, Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars, and Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth. 

Austen came into my life by way of my mother. She and I watched all the film adaptations of Austen's classics, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion together while I was growing up. who I loved them all, but my favorite, our favorite, was Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy, in the PBS adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. We would rent the VHS tapes, all 13 of them, at the local library we used to frequent in Las Cruces. We loved Elizabeth's stubbornness and Darcy's pride, Mrs. Bennet's absurd remarks, and Mr. Bennet's gentle manner. 

It was with pleasure that I stumble across Dinner with Mr. Darcy, a cookbook by Pen Vogler, featuring recipes inspired by the novels and letters of Jane Austen.

The cookbook is filled with whimsical references to Austen's canon with recipes for the likes of Negus, a mulled wine created by Colonel Francis Negus and  was served during the ball scenes in Mansfield Park and The Watsons. Sections of the cookbook are divided by the text they derive their recipes from, and are appropriately titled as such with "The Picnic Parade" from Emma, or hilariously, "Gifts, Drinks, and Preserves for Friends and the Sick at Heart" from Sense and Sensibility. 

I opted to try a dish from "Mrs. Bennet's Dinner to Impress" from Pride & Prejudice, as it is my favorite of all Austen's works. 

 The Fresh Pea soup was delectable: savory from the anchovies, the soup was light and fresh thanks to the additions of fresh parsley, mint and spinach. I served it with chilled Sauvignon Blanc and buttery croissants - delicious. 

Ingredients: 

2 celery sticks, chopped 

1 onion, chopped
1/2 stick butter 

3 anchovies fillets, chopped

Few sprigs of fresh mint & parsley 

Freshly ground white pepper 

4 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 quart vegetable broth 

Pinch of sugar 

4-5 handfuls of spinach

Instructions: 

Sautee the onion and celery in butter until soft, then add the mint, parsley, and anchovy. Season with white pepper and cook for a few minutes. 

Stir in the peas and add the stock and pinch of sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat. 

Add spinach at the very end of cooking time. Let cool, then blend through a food processor or blender. Cook again on light heat for a few minutes and then serve. 

Erin E BarrioComment