Pregnancy is a weird and wonderful thing!
We had our 20-week scan a fortnight ago and saw what seems to be a happy and healthy baby boy moving about on the screen. A baby boy! Imagine that!
That little boy has begun to move about a lot recently. I first felt his movements as tentative little flutterings but lately there have been a few well-aimed wallops!
I’m beginning to relax into pregnancy a little more now. I don’t know if it was because we tried to get pregnant for so long and to no avail but I’ve found it hard to believe that we're about to have a baby. I still catch sight of myself in the mirror and am startled at the sight of my growing bump. Is that really me, I ask myself. Is this really happening?
Eating remains something of a challenge and I’m finding that my attitude to food is changing. Before I got pregnant, I used to eat primarily for pleasure, choosing whatever looked good in the fridge and composing a meal from that. Now, I eat much more strategically. I pause to consider whether I’m getting all the nutrients I need (calcium and iron in particular) before I decide what to make for dinner.
I’m also aware that the baby has now begun swallowing amniotic fluid and so can taste some of what I’m eating. I’m desperate not to have a fussy eater on my hands and want to do everything I can to ensure this doesn’t happen. Right now, this means trying to eat as wide a range of foods as possible.
Combine this with my dietary restrictions, my quest to consume enough calcium and iron and the fact that I’m often lacking in energy for cooking at the end of the day and you’ll see why the culinary pressure is well and truly on.
This particular recipe isn’t particularly bursting with calcium and iron but it is full of seasonal summery flavour. On top of that, it’s easy and effortless to make and consists entirely of ingredients that I always have to hand, which is a big bonus for busy mums-to-be (and for anyone who struggles to find the time and energy to make a home-made meal at the end of the day).
Pea and mint soup
This makes between eight and ten servings.
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 large floury potato, peeled and chopped (Rooster, Kerr’s pinks, Maris Piper, Golden Wonder and Queens are all good varieties)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 litres of vegetable stock
750g frozen peas
A bunch of mint, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
- Prepare your vegetables.
- Sweat the chopped onion and potato in the oil over a very low heat for ten minutes, until the onion has softened but hasn't yet begun to colour.
- Add the stock. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the potato is tender.
- Raise the heat, stir in the frozen peas and simmer for four to five minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add the chopped mint and purée the soup using a soup wand or a blender. I always do this in stages, tasting as I go. For this amount of soup, I would use at least 10 grams of mint (leaves and stalks). Some of you may prefer your soup to take on a mintier flavour; others may prefer it less so.
- Finally, I add the salt and pepper. Again, I would urge you to do this to taste. I use at least 3 teaspoons of salt (and 2 teaspoons of freshly-ground black pepper) for this amount of soup but that's my palate, not yours. Start with 2 teaspoons. Stir it in and taste. Add more as you see fit. That's what 'seasoning to taste' is all about.
All sorts of accompaniments go with this soup. I've been eating toasted bread slathered with hummus but those of you on an unrestricted diet might also opt for a bacon sandwich or a cheese toasty. Yum!