Life has a different taste when you get home from work and there is still sun, light and a few hours to play a bit in the kitchen and with your camera. It ‘s like entering another dimension and another life, made of genuine products, slow cooked soups, countryside walks and precious moments of reflection, soft talks with your sister while you’re shredding vegetables. You can smell wet grass, the shadows lengthen and the pot mutters releasing all its fragrances.
You often ask me how this is possible, how to live a life like that – a life that I often feel to be on the boundary in between the life of the Tuscan countryside and the English one… well, these are just precious moments! I’m costantly in pursuit of this unstable and variable equilibrium searchng for it into few moments and gestures. Then, I try to buit a mental story around those precious moments, whose effects make me live for a while plunged into a dream that reconciles me with reality. So here’s my secret: I am a common employee for 90% of the time, with rhythms and moods and whims of a common clerk, but in the remaining 10% of the time I chase simple gestures, colors and natural flavors, true smells and deep feelings that, added all together, bring me to that life that I really desire.
The gesture that I chose this time to enter my dream life was that simple, mechanical and fun gesture of shelling fresh green peas to make a soup with crunchy vegetables and a remote Thai hint given by the coconut milk.
- fresh green peas, about 300 gr
- asparagus, 1 bunch
- potatoes, 2 medium
- coconut milk powder*, 5 tablespoons
- shallot, 1 thinly sliced
- mint, a few leaves
- extravirgin olive oil
Shell green peas and keep them apart. Clean the asparagus, removing the woody part of the stalks. Cut off the asparagus tips and put them aside. Trim asparagus stalks. Peel the potatoes and dice them. Finely slice a shallot.
Heat a few tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil in a nonstick heavy bottomed pan and stew slowly shallots with a few tablespoons of water. Add diced potatoes slices of asparagus, cover with water, season with salt and cook for 10 minutes after it starts to boil. Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion mixer, adding hot water if you prefer the soup more liquid. Now add the coconut milk powder, mint leaves and season with salt again, if needed. Add the asparagus tips and fresh green peas and let simmer over low heat for about ten minutes.
(*) I used coconut milk powder that can be replaced with fresh or canned coconut milk, or even dried coconut in the lack of better!
Tasting moment. Serve hot or warm, you’ll feel the fragrance of fresh peas and asparagus, which happily crunch under your teeth, enhanced by the sweetness and soft aroma of coconut milk. All with very few calories, what can you ask more?!