1bouquet of flat parsley (which has the best flavour)
1 small lettuce
300g (10½oz) shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
40g (1½oz) butter
1 level tablespooncurry powder
1chicken stock cube
4slicessoft fresh white bread
1 saucepan holding 3–4 litres (5¼–7 pints)
1 liquidiser or mouli-légumes with a fine blade
Slice the onion into fine rounds and cook in half the butter in the saucepan until pale golden – no more. This will take 7–8 minutes. Meanwhile wash the lettuce carefully and chop it coarsely. Add it to the onion in the pan, allow to soften for 2–3 minutes, add the curry powder and stir well.
Pour in 1½ litres (2½pints) hot water, add the stock cube and salt lightly (remembering that the stock cube is already salty). Bring to the boil and cook briskly for 5 minutes. Add the parsley and the peas. Don’t cover the pan, whatever you do, because the vegetables must remain very green.
While the vegetables are cooking, remove the crusts from the bread and cut each slice into small dice. Fry them with the remaining butter in a frying-pan, stirring well, until they are golden. Drain in a medium sieve and keep hot in a small heated bowl.
When the peas are cooked, pour the contents of the saucepan into the liquidiser and blend to a fine cream. If using a mouli-légumes, use the fine blade, and strain the puréed soup through a fine sieve, using a small ladle to push the liquid through.
Pour the soup back into the saucepan and reheat. Add 5tablespoons of cream as it comes to the boil and remove from the heat as soon as it comes back to the boil. Add a pinch of salt if necessary and serve in a tureen with the croûtons in a separate bowl.