Give-Away #19 : £30 Groupon Voucher

The winner for this give-away is Carolin Duncan Wheeler
Restaurants reviews are always very popular on Pebble Soup. So in order to share the pleasure  Groupon and Pebble Soup have teamed up to offer one lucky winner a £30 voucher.
The winner will be able to choose any deal ranging from restaurant vouchers to lastminute travel deals

Groupon works with local businesses to promote deals and discounts through online vouchers and offers discounts at both a local and national level. With discounts on shopping & beauty, restaurants & travel and with activities that range from a relaxing spa-day to an adrenaline-filled parachute jump, Groupon has a great deal for everyone.

So why not experience something new today? To find out which deal would best suit you visit the

To enter the competition, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter it starts with a  simple question:

What would be your ideal Groupon Deal?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and if you win, make sure you let Pebble Soup know what wonderful deal you went for.


Green Pea Mousse

I think there is some kind of injustice going on towards the green pea but then I can't decide if it is justified or not, though injustice should no be justified, ever.
See, green peas are one of the most loved vegetables or at least, innocuous enough not to bring in a fanfare of dislike noises. Green peas contain lots of protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C and dietary fibre. Delicious when in season from May to October and very good frozen too.
Mostly never imported green peas are good veg for the carbon footprint issue. And by the way "despite being considered a vegetable for culinary purposes each pea pod and its contents is collectively a fruit, the peas themselves being the seeds."
On the other hand, green peas are terribly treated, boiled served with a little butter or a few twigs of mint, they seat there, as an accompaniment, often eaten without being given a thought to. When was the last time you heard "oh nice peas"? Green peas hardly have a dish of their own, even pea soup contains other flavours, onions and bacon. It is always pea and somewhat else.
At Christmas when I saw a recipe for Green Pea Mousse, I pictured myself as the lone avenger and went for it. I regretted it. Don't get me wrong, the mousse was absolutely delicious, it went so well with the foie gras that it wowed everyone. The colour was amazing, a perfect and unusual starter.
But, a nightmare to make. For the mousse to be delicious, it needs to be sieved. I might as well have stuffed lentils.  to achieve the right consistency, it needs all the shells removed from the final product hence sieve and that take a long time. Not a good idea for Christmas dinner but any other more intimate occasion and this is a winner.
Green Pea Mousse
  • 3 sheets leaf gelatine
  • 200 g petit pois
  • pinch sugar
  • 80ml double cream


 Place the gelatine leaves into a tray of cold water follow the instructions, I usually allow 5 minutes

Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, then add the peas and boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.

Sieve (but keep a little cooking water just in case) and blend until smooth (add a little bit of the cooking if it looks to thick)
While the purée is still hot, remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess moisture and add to the purée and blend again.

And now for the fun bit, sieve the puree so that none of the shells get through then season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes. 

 When the purée is set, whip the double cream to soft peaks and fold it into the purée. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the mousse to set completely.
A labour of love but well worth it.

Wabi - Restaurant Review

Now I don't want to over sell Wabi, so I am going to be conservative and simply say, "This is the best Japanese restaurant I've ever been to". Wabi, named after the aesthetic movement characterised by simple undeclared beauty. Here reflected in the seductive décor of this large basement furnished with dark wood tables, low lighting, plush seating and a wall water feature.

Wabi might be aptly named but secretly I have re-named it Wowbi after our emotions expressed with each dish.
Wabi started in Horsham where it acquired a reputation for stunning contemporary Japanese food. It's now a welcome addition to London, next to Holborn station. Though the capital hosts over 300 communities and their culinary delights, Japanese cuisine is served by an unrepresentative number of traditional family restaurants or alternatively by many large chains of sushi bars where the food is marginally worth than at Boots the Chemist.

Wabi's chef is from Australia. Scott Hallsworth, previously Nobu head chef, brings in the kind of creativity associated with Blumenthal. From the open theatre kitchen and the sushi bar, Hallsworth's team demonstrate skills through beautifully presented dishes. The front of house never shies questions and offers excellent advice. Indeed our waitresses were so impressive that after choosing a dish each, we gave them carte blanche.

The slivers of beef Tataki topped with onion ponzu and dehydrated garlic chips, soya sauce, yuzu vinegar and sake is simply divine. There was the odd embarrassing moment when I mistook my serviette for a plate, clumsily using my chopsticks to carefully place on it, a perfectly fresh scallop and a daikon julienne, I did mention the low lighting didn't I? But mostly, I didn't have a clue of what was what. It was out of sheer luck that I didn't rinse my fingers in the brown little bowl of sauce which came later with the Otoro (fatty tuna) sahimi. Normally, I would have felt threaten by my lack of background knowledge but I was under the spell.
The foie gras Martini with nashi pear soaked in green tea with its rice cracker amazed and puzzled my senses. Each dish was an explosion of sensations. Even when an alarm bells should have rang at the mention of tempura eel with pickled gherkin, I thought nothing of it. This may have been a mistake as the dish was disappointing. Oily despite the fact that Wabi has created a bespoke frier shaped so that the perfect flicking technique required for tempura can be performed.

Wabi Prices are in the high bracket, the minimum for a couple of dishes will be £30 but there is a lunch menu which is well worth seeking out. Having said this, I would go back any time and be more than satisfy with a few dishes, of course there is always that special occasion around the corner when the chocolate Japanese garden will definitely wow.

6-38 Kingsway
London WC2B 6EY
T: 0207 400 5400

Disclaimer: I would like to thank Wabi Management for inviting us as guests.
Wabi on Urbanspoon

Parmesan and Butternut Squash Soup

 I wish I had an anecdote related to buttersquash so that the post would scintillate. Or story sprinkled with Parmesan. Even a joke about soups would be better than nothing.
Parmesan and Butternut Squash Soup
150 g parmesan (parmigiano-reggiano) with rind
25 g butter
1 large onion finely chopped
1 medium butternut squash peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
900 ml hot vegetable stock
150 ml milk
4 - 6 slices French bread
fresh parsley or thyme chopped to garnish
Cut the rind of the parmesan but don't throw it away.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter, turn the heat to gentle and add the vegetables and the rind for 10 minutes.
Add the stock and cook until the vegetables are tender that should take 20 minutes.
Remove the rind, blend the soup to a consistency you like.
Return to saucepan and add the milk, cook it for a minute or so
meanwhile prepare your toasts
slice the Baguette, sprinkle with parmesan and toast.
Serve immediately.

Hake with Parsley Vinaigrette and the Fight for Substainable Fish

It shouldn't make much difference, it is just another day, another week but somehow the start of a New Year is significant so should be the first post which celebrates it.

This year, I agonised over the content, should I retrospect, there are some lovely food-bloggers' retrospectives out there, gorgeous pictures too. But not on Pebble Soup, not this year. This year I am looking forward. But first, I would also like to thank all the people who make my writing life enjoyable, least of all the readers.

Over the past couple of years, I found my voice, it stammers at times, once in a while it confuses, mixes and shakes words but it is out and hopefully out there to stay.

Sometimes, I use this voice to talk about issues which are important to all of us and what a better platform to do so than the first post of 2013.
When I was a kid, I had two escape routes, one was books, the other was swimming. It didn't matter how bad things were if I could dive or read, then I was safe.

From then on an interest for literature and a fondness for the sea and its inhabitant grew, neither went away. When the whales were in danger, in my opinion there was little I could do so I did nothing, but now that our common species are in danger, and I can do something about it. Over-fishing is a complex issue, many players and too much politic involved.

But as often the solution to the problem starts on our doorsteps. There is little we can do about fisheries abusing the system, politicians dragging their feet and creating absurd laws which encourage fishermen to throw back in the sea perfectly edible fish, dead. 

However we can change our habits and reduce our consumption of species in danger, that includes cod, red mullet, swordfish, sea-bass, skip-jack tuna and many more. Of course, that doesn't refer to farmed fish which is not endangered.

We can create a demand for sustainable fish such as hake, dab, gurnard, herring, mackerel, sardine, pollack, if we start with our consumption, the rest might take care of itself, after all it's 2013, it's a new year and it's full of hope for the future and that includes the future of the seas.

Happy New Year to each Pebble Soup reader.

I'll leave you with a recipe adapted from Mitch Tonks "Fish Easy"

Hake with Parsley Vinaigrette


4 Hake steak
4 tbs of oil
1 tbs of mustard
small handful of parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper

heat 2 tbs of oil in a frying pan
When hot slide the hake in and reduce to medium
Cook for 10 minutes
In the meantime make a vinaigrette by mixing in a boil, mustard, vinegar until you get a thick mix add the rest of the oil and the parsley, mix and transfer to the pan.
Remove from the heat, leave to rest for a minute or two and serve

If you are interested in the issue here are some useful links

For recipes and news access Fish is the Dish

To join Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall  Fishfight campaign click on the video link

To buy Fish Easy by Mitch Tonk click here


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