Happy St. Patrick's Day!! with Green Pea Soup and Beef Stew

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone who has any connection to Ireland!  I don't really have any connection to Irish heritage, but I love to celebrate it anyway.  After all, green is also my favorite colo{u}r.  I've made some green pea soup for lunch for the occasion and also made some beef stew for dinner.  It's good to celebrate any holiday with some good food. 

I'm off to pick up my daughter at school and check out the serious cherry blossom scene at the University campus. Then, I'll be back to edit the recipes!  


Pea Soup: (serves 4 cups)

1 cup frozen peas
1 cup chicken broth
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 big celery stem
a few mint, basil and cilantro leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
creme fraiche (optional)
chives (optional)

Satay chopped celery, onion and garlic in a pot with olive oil at medium high heat and let them sweat.  Add frozen peas and pour chicken broth in, then season with salt and pepper.  Cook for a couple of minutes.  Chop herbs and add spices.  Pour mixture in blender and blend until smooth.  Pour back in a pan and adjust the taste.  Serve with creme fraiche and chopped chives.

Beef Stew: Serves 4 bowls

2 pounds beef (chuck or roast)
3 carrots
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cups beer 
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
bouquet garni with fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano
2 bay leaves
(*I served my stew with red and white quinoa)

Heat up a pan at medium high heat and satay diced onions, chopped celery and garlic with butter.  Add cubed beef, largely cut carrots, bay leaves and bouquet garni.  Satay and season with salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce, vinegar and tomato paste.  After the beef cubes are cooked on the outside, pour beer in and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Skim off the surface of the stew to clean.  Add water if needed.


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