My Co-op Farm Visit and Courgette, Pea & Mint Soup
Last week I had the great pleasure of visiting a lovely farm in Worcester called MWW as a guest of Co-op. MWW have been farming on the current land at Severn Valley for 27 years. So to celebrate the best of British seasonal produce I was invited on a behind-the-scenes farm tour of MWW. What a treat!
I grew up in south Shropshire in a tiny village. A rural and predominantly agricultural area. Lots of my friends grew up on small holdings or farms so I love and feel at home in that environment. MWW is a large but very attractive farm, with big and spacious fields in the beautiful Worcester countryside. The sun was out as we bombed around the lanes to each field to see the crops.
MWW is very much based on the traditional mixed farm principles with vegetable cropping to provide a healthy nutrient rich rotation. MWW grow a broad mix of vegetables such as legumes (peas, broad, runner and dwarf beans), brassicas (purple sprouting, pak choi, choi sum) and alliums (salad onion, jumbo onions), asparagus and butternut squash as well as the more traditional cereals.
The nutrient rich soil in the Severn Valley, along with the sheltered micro-climate, allows the farm to maximise the British growing season to the full. All aspects of production, from seed to Co-op shelves are controlled at MWW.
It was fascinating to see the crop rotation in practice and the speed to picking to packing to hitting the Co-op shelves was incredible. Ie the same or next day. Which means super fresh veggies!
I love the fact that Co-op hero seasonal home-grown vegetables and you could certainly see the love, care and attention the team at MWW invest in growing the best and freshest produce possible.
The team kindly gave me some wonderful fresh veg to take away, a big box of courgettes, runner beans, tenderstem broccoli, pak choi etc etc all looking super fresh and juicy. This gorgeous box of veg has inspired my to make two delicious seasonal dishes.
My first; courgette, pea and mint soup with tenderstem broccoli and pak choi pesto on fresh bread. I don’t think it gets much better than that. Fresh greens bursting with flavour and goodness.
The recipe is super easy, all you need to do is fry some onions and garlic until they are beatifically caramelised. Add in the courgette and soften, then the peas, stock and lots of fresh mint.
As you know I pretty obsessed with packing as many veg into my meals as possible so I made tenderstem pesto to be dolloped onto sourdough toast. I added lots of nutrional yeast for a cheesy flavour and b-vits. And as my box of goodies included some pak choi I decided to pop a handful into the mix as well. Delicious!
I hope you enjoy my fresh and delicious recipe! I will have another one for you soon.
I would like to thank you team at MWW for a lovely day in the country showing me around their lovely farm. And Co-op for the opportunity.
IngredientsFor the soup;
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 courgettes chopped into small chunks
- Organic veg stock in 1.5 pints boiling water
- 3 cups fresh peas podded or frozen peas
- Handful mint
- 200g tenderstem broccoli chopped
- Handful pak choi chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds or nut of your choice – hazelnuts work really well
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 sea salt
- Twist black pepper
- Water to loosen to taste
To make the soup;
- Add the onion to a large saucepan with the oil and cook on a medium heat until the onions are soft. Add in the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds then add the courgette.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes to soften a little then add in the veg stock. Simmer for 5-6 minutes then add in the peas. Cook for a further minute the add the mint.
- Blitz the soup with a food processor or hand blender until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Great topped with a handful of peas, pumpkin seeds, squeeze of lemon juice and a swirl of good olive oil.
To make the pesto;
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz to combine.
- Add water until you get your desired consistency.
- Great topped on grilled sourdough. Add some good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.