Garden pea soup with Isle of Mull scallops and bacon by Neil Forbes at Cafe St Honoré 

Most of us love peas and their fresh sweetness. Here I’ve created a very simple soup, with seared hand-dived scallops from the Isle of Mull, and a few chunky lardons to bring the dish together. Pea, ham and scallop go so well together, but it works equally well without the scallop.

Keep the soup green by serving as soon as you make it, or chill it down very quickly if using later. A few leaves are nice for a garnish to use the last of them up. A great dish for a dinner party.

15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking 

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
750ml vegetable or chicken stock, or water is fine
250g shelled, podded peas
1-2 tablespoons of cream, optional
4 hand-dived Isle of Mull scallops, cleaned and out of shell
1 small handful of chunky lardons of unsmoked bacon
2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
1 knob of butter
A few mint leaves
Good salt and pepper
A few salad leaves and edible flowers

1 Heat the butter and half oil on a pot, then add the onion and garlic and sweat down very gently for a few minutes, without colouring. Season with salt and pepper, 
and when softened, add the 
stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the peas and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Season again, and add the mint leaves then blitz carefully in a liquidiser until smooth. Add some cream if you like, or more stock to make it easier to blitz. Pass the soup through a fine sieve to ensure it’s rich and silky. Keep in a warm place.
2 Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the scallops. Season in the pan and cook for a minute or two on each side. As you are frying the scallops, add in the bacon lardons and fry these too. Season as you go. Remove from the pan when just cooked. 
3 To serve, pour the soup into warmed bowls and place a scallop in the centre of each bowl. Scatter over the lardons of bacon and garnish with a few salad leaves and edible flowers.

In association with Taste Communications.