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Masterful meals: Masterchef 2008 champion James Nathan’s pea and white truffle soup with Parmesan galettes

Roast pheasant, chocolate roulade and this sublime soup… a new book features spectacular dishes from a decade of MasterChef champions

Not only is this dish visually spectacular - but it is an absolute taste sensation   Not only is this dish visually spectacular - but it is an absolute taste sensation  

Not only is this dish visually spectacular – but it is an absolute taste sensation  

My favourite way of serving this is to use elegant coffee cups and saucers. The Parmesan galettes need to be wide enough to balance safely on top of each serving cup.

Serves 4-6

250g (9oz) frozen peas or petits pois, plus 1tsp for the galettes450ml (16fl oz) hot vegetable stockA few thyme sprigs, leaves picked Salt and freshly ground black pepper1-2tbsp crème fraîche (optional)White truffle oil (see tip below)

For the galettes

80g (3oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated2 slices of Serrano ham1 packet of pea shootsA small handful of mint tips (the very tiny new growth buds at the end of the stem) or 6 mint leavesEdible viola flowers (optional)

Put the peas in a bowl, then pour boiling water over and leave to stand for about 5 minutes. Drain. 

Put the peas (setting aside 1tsp for the galettes), stock and thyme leaves in a blender and blend until smooth and combined – in batches if necessary. Add more stock if the soup is too thick. Season well and blend again.

Chef’s tip 

White truffle oil brings a distinctive aromatic flavour to this soup and is available from larger supermarkets 

Make the Parmesan galettes. Heat a heavy-based nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and sprinkle thin layers of Parmesan to make galettes wide enough for your serving cups. 

When the cheese starts to melt, wait about 2 minutes, until it turns golden and bubbly. Immediately remove from the heat, leave for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack. 

Shred the ham into strips. Scatter each galette with ham, reserved peas, pea shoots, mint and viola petals (if using).

To serve, stir the crème fraîche (if using) into the soup. Use a hand-held blender to froth up the liquid, pour into cups or serving bowls and spoon a head of froth over each. 

Add a few drops of truffle oil to each cup and balance a Parmesan galette on top. 

Extracted from MasterChef: The Classics With a Twist, published by DK on 4 October, £25. Recipe and images © Shine TV Limited, 2018. Offer price £20 until 20/10/18. Order at or call 0844 571 0640, p&p free on orders over £15.  

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