Oct 25, 2010

Slimy Pea Soup

What better way to shock your Halloween guests than to serve green soup with two eyeballs peering up at them, or a spiderweb stretching it’s way across the bowl - it’s like a scene from Beetlejuice minus the creepy shrimp hand grabbing at your face. The soup itself is flavorful enough – a simple pea soup with garlic and scallions. Although the ideal time of year to serve pea soup is in the spring when there are an abundance of fresh peas around, frozen peas suffice for this green Halloween soup.

Caitlin:  For the eyes, I used tiny potatoes and parboiled them, then I added pimento stuffed green olives in the top. You can also use pearl onions and stuff them with olives as well. I didn’t eat the eyeballs with the soup, but I suppose you can – I really didn’t think it complimented the soup, it was more about the shock value. 

Monica: I chose to add an extra ingredient to enhance the flavor of my soup. Instead of using 1 scallion, I decided to add a head of roasted garlic.  I’ve had roasted garlic and pea soup in the past, and I enjoy the flavor combination of the sweet, caramelized roasted garlic and sweet peas. After making the soup, to make it even more festive, I topped it with a spiderweb design. The spiderweb design was made from a mixture of sour cream and a bit of milk.  This just added a great final touch, and brings a fun element your guests are sure to appreciate.
Ingredient List 
4 cups frozen peas
1 head of roasted garlic (if using)
1 scallion (if not using the roasted garlic)
3 cups boiling water, from the kettle
Vegetable or Chicken stock cube
1 ball mozzarella, diced (approx 10 oz)
**if making potato eyeballs:
8 – 10 little, round potatoes
Pimiento stuffed olives
**if making spiderweb topping:
3 tbs sour cream
1 tbs milk
Plastic condiment bottle

*Roasted Garlic: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using the roasted garlic, make ahead because it takes 45 minutes – 1  hour to roast. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, place on a small square of aluminum foil, drizzle the garlic with olive oil, and wrap tightly (like a small parcel) in the foil and put in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the garlic is soft.
To make the soup:

Cook the frozen peas and scallion (if using) in the boiling water with the stock cube until tender and cooked through.  Put the peas in the blender.

Add the diced mozzarella to the peas in the blender.  Liquidize the soup until smooth.
Top with spiderweb or garnish with potato eyeballs.

To make the potato eyeballs:
Parboil little potatoes. Scoop out some of the middle, but do not hollow out, as you are going to place the olives in the middle of the eyeball. Place olive in the middle of the potato. Place 2 eyeballs in each bowl.

To make the spiderweb topping:
Prepare a mixture of 3 tablespoons of sour cream and 1 tabelspoon of milk. Fill a plastic condiment bottle with the mixture.
Carefully squeeze several circles (like a spiral form) on the surface of warm soup.
Use a toothpick to drag lines from the center out toward the edges to create a web design.

You can use a head of roasted garlic, instead of the scallion to flavor the soup.
You can opt to drain the peas after boiling, before pureeing.

Caitlin: In honor of all things Halloween, we listened to a mix of our favorites - Purple People Eaters, Werewolves of London, Nightmare Before Christmas music, and of course John Williams’ song for Darth Vader.
Monica: I chose to continue the Halloween theme and mixed up some spooky classics you can enjoy any day of the year:
1)    Ghost Town – The Specials
2)    Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora) – Harry Belafonte
3)    Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
4)    People are Strange – The Doors
5)    Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones

Drink of Choice
Caitlin: We had just made the swamp juice, so we drank it with the slime soup and then topped off our creepy lunch with the Franken pudding pops.
Monica: If you are going to enjoy the Ghoulish Cider for dessert, I would recommend a vodka martini for dinner – preferably a Kettle One Martini with two olives. If you are making the potato eyeballs, you could possibly use the same olives for your drink.

A Recipe to Remember?
It most definitely is, and can become part of a Halloween dinner tradition for years to come.
Caitlin's Version

Monica's Version

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