“Tiria and Lycian took the birds to the buffet table, allowing them to choose what they liked. Brantalis opted for soft cheese and watercress sandwiches, which he immersed in a bowl of pea and cabbage soup and gobbled down with evident relish.”
–High Rhulain, by Brian Jacques
What an ideal light lunch!
The sandwiches are fresh and inviting, soft crusts giving way to the crunch of cucumber and watercress. The soup has a hearty warmth unusual in vegetarian dishes, but you may want to encourage guests to add salt and pepper to taste. I would encourage you to eat three or four bites before adding anything though- the flavors develop as you go. If the flavors are too mild for you, consider adding a little (very un-Redwallian) diced ham.
Recipes for Watercress Sandwiches and Pea & Cabbage Soup
Makes enough for 4 sandwiches, and soup for 6
Ingredients for 4 Sandwiches:
- 2 Tbs. softened butter
- 4 oz. soft cheese of your choice (thinly sliced cheddar is also delicious)
- 1 cup watercress leaves & thin stems, rinsed and rung out in a tea towel
- 1 Cucumber, sliced thin
- 8 slices wheat bread
Spread the butter in a thin layer on half the pieces of bread (if using cheddar, butter both sides). Follow with a layer of cheese, then a layer of cucumber, and finishing with a layer of watercress. Place the top slice on the sandwich.
Using a long, sharp knife, trim off the crusts, and cut into triangles. Serve with soup below.
Ingredients for soup:
- 1 cup dried split green peas (you can use yellow if you prefer)
- 7 cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable or meat broth
- 2 russet potatoes, roughly chopped
- salt and ground pepper
- 1/2 head cabbage (green, red or savoy) chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 7 cups)
Pour peas and seven cups of water in large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes.
In a skillet heat 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Then add the garlic and cook for 5 additional minutes, stirring often.
To the onions and garlic, add the carrots and cook another 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
To the peas, add the potatoes and continue to boil another 10 minutes. Then add the onion mixture to the pot containing the peas and add 4 cups of broth and bring to temperature.
Blend the ingredients using an immersion blender. Add the cabbage to the pot and allow to cook over medium heat, for 15 minutes or so until the cabbage is wilted.