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Pea And Bacon Chowder With Basil Pesto And Cheddar Croutons
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
150g of streaky bacon, diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 level tbsp plain flour
500ml chicken stock
350g frozen peas
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp of snipped chives to garnish (optional)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 thick slices of bread cut into croutons
50g cheddar cheese, grated
1tbsp of green pesto (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper
Heat the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion and bacon together in the butter until lightly golden, then add the potato and continue to cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, then gradually, stir in the stock and milk and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and gently simmer for 15 minutes, until the potato is just tender.
Meanwhile to make the croutons, in a shallow frying pan, heat the rapeseed oil, add the bread croutons and toss in the oil, season well with sea salt and black pepper and toast in the pan, until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Add to the chowder the peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, until the peas are cooked. Adjust seasoning if necessary and stir in the cream and chives.
To serve the chowder, place in bowls, serve with the croutons on top and a blob of pesto.
The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin.
When boiling frozen peas, add enough water to cover, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. To microwave 227 grams (8oz) of frozen peas add 15ml (1 tablespoon) of water, place in a non metallic container and cover. Cook on full power for 4 minutes (750W) or 4 1/2 minutes (650W).