By now we are all aware of the plight of the honeybees. Our industrial agricultural system is wreaking havoc on their populations, and in the last five years, we’ve lost over one-third of their colonies nationwide from Colony Collapse Disorder. These numbers are a terrifying thought when you take into consideration that every third bite we eat would not exist if it weren’t for honeybees.
These industrious workers just don’t deserve our attention because of their honey supply; without their pollination some of our favorite foods would not exist. Imagine a world without nuts, avocados, apples, melons, and strawberries! Like Laurey Masterton, author of The Fresh Honey Cookbook says, “No one depends on honey, even though we may like it. But ingredients, a third of all we eat? Now that caught my attention.”
And I hope it has caught yours… There is so much we owe to the humble honeybee, and that is what Laurey shares with us in her book. Owner of a café in downtown Ashville, North Carolina, and now a Certified Beekeeper, she knows a thing or two about the insect and it’s important relationship with our food.
The cookbook, one of those rare cookbooks you will actually read cover to cover, is split into months, with corresponding seasonal recipes. Laurey enlightens us about the work going on in the hive and what the beekeeper’s responsibilities are during that time. Plus she shares with us the flavor profile of 12 different types of honey, some of which I’m dying to try.
This cookbook is an ode to the honeybee, and a beautiful one at that. As you read about honey through the seasons, you will admire the design and details that went into this book, as well as the spectacular photos and mouthwatering recipes.
However, the most wonderful thing you will find in this cookbook is found in every ingredient list. Laurey bolds each ingredient that wouldn’t be possible without the honeybee. Whether you are making Creamy Chicken and Coconut Curry or Fresh Pea Soup with Minted Cream, which I’m sharing with you today, the honeybee has made your meal possible.
Spring seems to be the time we are most aware of the busy honeybee, poking in and out of flowers, zooming back to their hives. So I found it fitting to celebrate the bee with a recipe for the season. This soup is fresh and flavorful, thanks to the addition of some minted cream. Lightly warmed to feel the mint’s cooling effect, Roark and I have been enjoying this delicious soup out on our porch. It has a lovely color, and is a perfect way to start a meal.
While you are sipping on it, think about this: without the honeybee, you wouldn’t be eating the leek, sweet onion, peas, honey, lemon, or mint. But the great news is that you can help the bee do its job. Laurey recommends not only supporting local beekeepers by buying their honey, but also planting a bee garden. Lastly, she suggests becoming a beekeeper yourself, and I sure am feeling inspired!
- 1 Tablespoon of Butter
- 1 Leek, washed and cut into thin strips
- 1 Sweet Onion, chopped
- 2 ½ Quarts of Low-Salt Vegetable Broth
- 3 Cups of shelled English Peas
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- ½ Cup of Plain Yogurt
- ½ Cup of Sour Cream
- 1 Tablespoon of Honey, Raspberry Honey recommended
- 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 fresh Mint Leaves, and extra for garnish
- In a large stockpot, melt the Butter and add the Leek and Onion. Turn the heat to low and cook until transparent.
- Add in the Broth and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and toss in the Peas, cooking them for 4 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, allowing it to cool. Add in the Salt.
- While the soup cools, make the minted cream. Add the Yogurt, Sour Cream, Honey, Lemon Zest and Juice, and Mint Leaves to a blender, and puree until very smooth. Set aside and clean out the blender.
- Add the cooled soup to the blender and puree in batches until very smooth. Ladle the soup into bowls and add 1 Tablespoon of the minted cream to each bowl, along with a Mint Leaf for garnish. Serve slightly warm.