In the Dutchess County Spotlight
Go "Green" for Earth Day with Thai Pea Soup
In 1970, the first Earth Day was organized to promote environmental awareness and encourage stewardship of our natural resources. That first, massive grassroots movement by student demonstrators, schools, and communities began with Senator Gaylord Nelson's efforts to put environmental concerns on the political agenda.
More than ever, Americans today are making smarter choices to help keep Mother Earth "green." The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is teaching the next generation of chefs to be stewards of the environment. The college's green initiatives were recently featured on public radio's Living on Earth. You can listen to the segment online here.
Early spring is a great time to "go green" in the kitchen. As our thoughts turn to gardening and farming, it's time to turn over a new, green leaf. Farmers' markets are putting out their first crops of the season: peas, asparagus, and early greens.
CIA's Thai Fresh Pea Soup uses fresh peas and green curry to create a subtle twist on an old spring classic. It can be prepared in under half an hour so you'll have plenty of time to get outside and work in the garden.
"Once you puree the soup in a blender, make sure to taste it for flavor and texture," says CIA Chef Eve Felder. "Adjust the flavor with salt. If you prefer a smoother consistency, push the soup through a strainer to remove the skins."
The following and other green recipes can be found in The Culinary Institute of America's Vegetables cookbook (2007 Lebhar-Friedman), which is available for purchase at bookstores nationwide or at www.ciaprochef.com/fbi/books.html.
Thai Fresh Pea Soup
1. Add about 1/2 cup of the broth to a soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and curry paste. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the peas, cover the soup, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes before pureeing with a handheld blender.
3. Strain the soup through a sieve and reserve the liquid if you are using a countertop blender or food processor. Add the solids to the blender jar or food processor bowl; do not overfill. Add a little of the liquid, replace the cover (without the vent from the lid or feed tube), and puree until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to help puree the solids. Transfer the pureed soup to a clean pot. Continue until all of the solids are pureed. Blend the soup and adjust the consistency by adding some of the remaining reserved liquid. (The soup is ready to finish now or it can be cooled and stored up to 2 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.) 4. Return the soup to a simmer over low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Serve the soup in heated bowls, garnished with the toasted mustard seeds and chopped mint.
Nutrition analysis per 11-ounce serving: 140 calories, 8g protein, 26g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 860mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 8g fiber.
About The Culinary Institute of America
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts as well as certificate programs in culinary arts, Latin cuisines, and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 43,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Roy Choi, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. In addition to its degree programs, the CIA offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.
For more information, visit the CIA online at www.ciachef.edu.