Today is Earth Day and a great time to celebrate (and honour) our wonderful planet.
Earthbound Wines, situated along the Cape West Coast, is all about sustainability and equality in farming and its delicious wines (certified organic) are created strictly under Fairtrade principles.
The beautiful West Coast is known for its unique foliage and beautiful wild flowers (that erupt during spring). This natural bounty inspired Heinrich Kulsen, winemaker at Earthbound Wines, to collaborate with MasterChef SA finalist and owner of Pure Good Food, Chef Shannon Smuts to pair delicious wines with organic flowers and scrumptious dishes.
“There’s a real synergy between flowers and Earthbound’s wine and organic produce,” Smuts says, “I find the Earthbound edible flowers and wine pairing concept very exciting, as flowers-in-food has always fascinated me,” said Smuts. “It’s challenging, yet loads of fun and stimulates my creative juices!”
While Kulsen says that Earthbound’s “approachable” wines are easily enjoyed on their own, they also pair easily with many tastes and flavours. “They [Earthbound wines] have soft, semi-tannic structures and upfront fruit that fit well with flowers on the palate. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage both have a deep richness and flavour that allows them to be paired with rich and flavourful dishes. Our Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are more subtle and crisp, making them perfect for delicate dishes of slight acidity.”
Why not try Shannon Smuts’s delicious Green Pea & Lavender Soup in honour of Earth Day, paired perfectly with a delicious bottle of Earthbound Sauvignon Blanc?
1 cup fresh cream
5/6 lavender stalks
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium leek, root trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (white and green parts only)
2 tsp salt
2 ½ cups water mixed with 50g vegetable stock
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
In a saucepan, add the cream and lavender stalks and simmer for 10 minutes. Do not let the cream boil. Leave to simmer on the lowest heat.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Add the leek, ½ teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Add the stock, remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the peas and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender – about five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint leaves and stir to combine.
Allow to sit uncovered until the flavours meld – about 10 minutes.
Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth.
Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan (if serving warm) or a heatproof bowl and stir in the lemon juice.
Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.
To serve, spoon the hot soup into a bowl and top with a dollop of the lavender cream.
Follow the #EarthDay2016 and #EarthboundPureGood hashtags on social media.