I just love it when all the ingredients come together to make a wonderful dish.
Tonight I opted for a fresh pea soup instead of a salad or roasted/steamed the veggies.
This soup was so incredibly fresh tasting. I used to love Anderson’s Split Pea Soup. Boy oh boy was I way off base. I had no idea how “un-pea” like the flavor of Anderson’s was till I tasted this. Its incredibly simple ingredients make it such a wonderful dish to make. (recipe follows)
Then for the main course was grill Lamb Chops (loin chops), herbed roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and Tzatziki sauce. Grilling lamb chops is so wonderful. They get this slight caramelization on the outside that once you eat the chop I defy you to NOT pick it up and nibble on the bone to get every last tidbit. These little steaks look like mini t-bones, but in my humble opinion back much more flavor.
To bring the herbed potatoes to the flavor profile, I used the same herbs as in the Tzatziki sauce. Perfect combination of crunch and tenderness.
Pea Soup Recipe
½ cup chopped shallots (2 large shallots)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken stock (get low sodium or you can make your own)
2 pounds frozen peas (use a good brand)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon cooked till crisped and crumbled
In a deep heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Put in the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute (but not so long as the garlic browns. That will make the garlic bitter). Add chicken stock, frozen peas, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Purée with an immersion blender until coarsely puréed. You can also use a blender to purée the soup 1 cup at a time. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. Depending on the saltiness of the stock, add up to another teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. I found no extra salt is needed but did add a bit of extra fresh ground pepper.
Meanwhile, fry up the bacon until crisp and drain on a couple of paper towels.
Reheat the soup and serve in shallow bowls with a slice of crispy bacon on top and serve hot.
Grill Lamb (Loin) Chops
8 Lamb Loin Chops (The look like mini t-bone steaks)
2 tps Kosher Salt (About ½ Tsp Per Two Chops)
4 tsp Whole Coriander Seed (or 2 slightly round tsp of ground)
2 tsp Whole Peppercorns (or 2 tsp coarsely fresh ground)
A Pinch Of Red Pepper Flakes
A Pinch Of Sugar
1. Dry brine the chops: 2 hours before cooking, trim any excess fat from the lamb (in all honestly there shouldn’t be anything to trim on this cut), then sprinkle evenly with the salt. Grind all the spice rub ingredients until they are coarsely ground. (if they are all already ground mix them well in a small bowl) Sprinkle the rub over the lamb chops, and press it into the chops to help it stick. Let the lamb rest at room temperature until it is time to cook.
*You can season the chops up to 24 hours ahead of time. If you do, refrigerate them, then remove them from the refrigerator two hours before cooking. The two hours at room temperature gives them enough time to take the chill off before grilling.
2. Prepare the grill: Prepare your grill for cooking on medium-high heat. Finally, just before putting the meat on the grill, I brush the grates with a folded paper towel dipped in oil or you can spray with Pam cooking spray.
3. Grilling the chops: Put the lamb chops on the hot part of the grill and cook for 5 minutes (or until well browned). Flip the chops, and cook for another 5 minutes, until well browned. The chops should have an internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat of 120*F for medium-rare. (115*F for rare, 130*F for medium). If they need more cooking time, move them to the indirect side of the grill, and cook, covered, until you get the internal temperature you are looking for. Remove from the grill, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. With most loin chops being about 1 inch thick 5 min per side is enough.
Serve with Tazatziki Sauce
1/4 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 Shallot minced (should be about 1 Tbl) if you don’t have a shallot you could use red onion or a vidalia sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh oregano
1 tsp minced fresh dill (you can substitute mint)
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1 full lemon
Salt and pepper
1. Salt the cucumber: Toss the diced cucumber with the ½ tsp kosher salt, and let sit in a strainer to drain for at least 15 minutes.
2. To make the sauce: Put all the ingredients except for the salt and pepper in a medium bowl, and stir until well combined. Taste for seasoning; it should be tart and highly seasoned. Add salt, pepper, herbs, or more lemon juice if not tart enough.