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Chef’s Margaret’s Field Trip to Lord Roberts Elementary

Just before the school year ended, Chef Margaret made time in her busy schedule ot head out to Lord Roberts Elementary School in Vancouver’ West End.  Taking an idea from our own Culinary Capers’ kitchen team who support Growing Chefs!, (a non-profit that teaches kids about food and urban argriculture in elementary schools), Chef Margaret visited Ms. Edi’s grade one class for an interactive cooking class.

Chef Margaret wanted to introduce the children to freshly picked “real” ingredients and get them excited about how cooking can be easy and fun – that even they can do it!   Six year olds can be a tough crowd, and the initial reaction to a healthy pea soup was a classroom of scrunched noses.

Undeterred, Chef Margaret had the kids rolling up their sleeves, shelling and eating fresh peas from a Fraser Valley farm.  As Ms. Edl wrote out the recipe on the SMART board, Chef Margaret made the soup with help from the class.  Just as she had confidently predicted earlier, good taste prevailed and with a show of hands, 19 out of 20 students agreed, the soup was “super yummy”!
Dessert was a fresh fruit salad bar prepared by the youngsters.  They then got to create their own individual fruit salad, in bio-degradable cedar paper cones, and finished off with a piping of delicious honey cinnamon yogurt.

For those of us who do not have the good fortune to have a demonstration by the current Catering Chef of the Year, below is the recipe that you can prepare at home.  The soup can be served either hot or cold.

Fresh Pea Soup
Serves 4

3 cups of fresh peas
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups water
¼ cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallots in butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan for 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not allow to brown.  Add peas and water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes.  Purée in a blender until very smooth.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish  ideas:  fresh sautéed  scallop or prawn; drizzle with greek yogurt or crème fraîche; freshly chopped mint.

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