You’ll know why Irish eyes are smiling when you taste this delicious, savory green pea soup and the tangy lime dessert squares. The minty soup can be made ahead and served hot or chilled. The tangy lime filling in the dessert squares can also be poured into a 1 (9-inch) round crumb crust and baked, then chilled and sliced into wedges. HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
Minty Green Pea Soup
You can use other chopped herbs in this soup, like tarragon, marjoram, chives or thyme. The soup can be served warm or chilled. A French cook might add about 1/2 pound Boston or butter lettuce to the pot before the mixture is simmered.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or with butter)
1 large finely chopped onion
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1(10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups rich homemade or storebought chicken broth, more if needed
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, to taste
½ sour cream or Greek yogurt
Strips of lime zest or fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic; cook and stir often until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the peas and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Add lime juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly and puree soup in a blender, in 2 batches. Stir in fresh mint. Soup can be reheated and served warm, or chilled before serving. Sour cream can be whisked into the warm or chilled soup, or simply swirled on top of each serving. Taste soup and adjust seasonings, if desired. Garnish and serve.
Lime Shamrock Squares
2 cups cookie crumbs (shortbread cookies, ginger snaps, vanilla wafers)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons shredded coconut or finely chopped macadamia nuts
5 tablespoons melted butter
4 juicy Persian limes (for the zest, juice and garnish)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large egg yolks
1 drop green food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
1/2 pint cold, heavy cream whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla
Shamrock cookies or fresh lime slices for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, sugar and coconut; mix in melted butter. Pat crumbs into an 8-inch-square baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes; cool. Grate zest from 1 lime; add to a mixing bowl. Squeeze ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons juice from 3 limes and add to bowl. Whisk in conde/nsed milk, egg yolks, green color, vanilla and salt. Add sour cream; whisk just until smooth. Pour into crust; bake 12 minutes. Cool for 1/2 hour. Chill at least 1 hour; top with whipped cream. Decorate each piece with a shamrock cookie or a fresh lime slice. Serves 6 to 8.