Chefzilla – the art of blending peas and fava bean soup!

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This blog was already written, and then I pressed a button and everything that had existed suddenly existed no longer….Does this EVER happen to anyone else? Bright side? The second version will be shorter….and hopefully therefore also better. This is the saga of the pea puree and the cookbook and my frustration with both… I recently bought a cookbook, I love cookbooks,  my home is full of them, I buy them to reward myself for completed projects, to cheer myself up if I had a bad day, to increase my happiness if I am having a good day, you get the picture, AND in the case of this particular one by Tanja Grandits, Michelin starred chef, because the images were stunning, Ms Grandits cooks her food in one colour only, or so I gathered from the cookbook, makes for pretty plates of food in shades of one colour and I loved the work by graphic artist Sanna Andrée (you can see it in the video below).

In addition I ate a pea puree at Ms Grandit’s restaurant – it was smooth, it was velvety, it was bright bright green, in short it was amazing and I have been obsessing about it ever since, that is the part of me that is Chefzilla has, the rest has been getting on with projects, bills, work, trying to keep camellias alive and getting pills down the cat…. I found the recipe in the book, I thought, ok no problems, everything in the house. I got ready and then I stalled because the instructions in the book are the same for every recipe – mix all ingredients. No information beyond that. What is fine for a cake, is not fine for somewhat more complex dishes. I wondered whether it was just me and checked out amazon. One reviewer wrote:  Grandits recommendations are as if on the first day of my driving lessons my instructor had sat me in a car, handed me the keys and said “off you go you have everything you’ll ever need to drive..” – I got out my peas used my blender and got anything but a nice smooth puree, fear not, thought I, I will just push it all through a sieve, at some point I threw my toys out of the pram and said, fine we are going eat puree with bits in it. Mr. Polianthus laughed and said ” well you can hardly expect her to share her secrets with you can you?” – actually if she is selling the book, then yes I think I can. Otherwise just give me pictures and tell me what’s in the recipe but don’t pretend to give me a recipe. Mr. Polianthus also claims that you need to remove the skin from each pea by hand, I think he is lying…..Chef Mimi do comment if you have anything to add (and only if you are not going to agree with Mr. Polianthus)..Long story short I now have a food mill,

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I made fava bean soup last night, at some point I will publish Nonna di Giulias recipe using dried fava beans, but until I get my hands on some of the beans, I have to use fresh frozen. My recipe – take fava beans – use high pressure cooker for 25 minutes to cook them in water, put through the food mill, the wonderful smooth texture still eludes me, but the soup was lovely all the same, add salt and olive oil about 1 tablespoon for 500g of fava beans, serve in two plates and drizzle with olive oil. If you are not obsessing about carbs then serve with nice Italian bread, if you are obsessing about carbs, stare daggers at your partner as he eats nice Italian bread while you eat soup and soup alone.

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I am bringing this story to Fiesta Friday, I look forward to any brilliant ideas on how to make the worlds smoothest pea puree, or my obsession might just drive me to hide in the Stucki restaurants kitchen cupboards to spy on the chefs. I can see a film in that can’t you?

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15 thoughts on “Chefzilla – the art of blending peas and fava bean soup!

  1. Ah, you made me smile, especially about the carbs and bread! I have a food mill, but somehow they only increase my frustration! 🙂 Maybe try putting the peas and beans in a bowl of water and gently rubbing them together between your fingertips, the skins should loosen and float to the top…

    • 🙂 hm yes the carbs and the bread 😦 – I am looking for instant smooth pea puree gratification, which I guess is another reason why I am not a top chef…., the method you describe is the one I use for freeing pomegranate seeds from their homes without making a mess, would likely work for peas too, I will continue looking for a quick fix, if I don’t find it I’ll resort to your suggestion!

  2. I’ve had fava beans, but in Ful Medames form. I love it and I bet this soup made wtih fava beans tastes so good, too. 😀 Thanks for sharing. Happy FF. 🙂

    • Hi Jhuls love ful medames. remember eating them in egypt – cannot remember the typical strong fava bean taste though, and usually even dried fava beans have that, curious. In Southern Italy they make fava bean soup with dried fava beans but havent been able to find the right beans here yet to make soup with!

      • I’ve been meaning to make Ful Medames from dried fava beans, but still have to look for them. Once I do, I think I’ll gve Ful Medames a try. 😀

      • ooh do and write them up – ps if you find halved dried fava beans from turkey those won’t work .:) I tried them for soups and that wasnt ideal – not even sure if they have different fava bean types. look forward to reading all about it!

  3. Perseverance or the inability to give up! Sounds very familiar to me. There is a wonderful pub we go to that make this pea “thing” that I have no idea how to make and of course try to recreate every time I make peas. End result is I am not recreating the damn dish but I at least never make the same peas, so will keep on trying! Hope you are well. Time is my boss again.

    • 🙂 oh flippenblog you made me smile, greetings from Airport lounge heathrow ! SO glad it is not just me who struggles with peas, i was very frustrated but feel better now I see I am not alone!

  4. Yes unfortunately it has happened to me several times and I did not find out why nor the way out. I would be grateful for help. Thanks a lot, Marianne
    (comment edited by Polianthus to maintain user anonymity)

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