Sunday, 4 May 2008

Pea and Ham Soup

We've had frost overnight; it must be time for soup. I've made a classic pea and ham, with a small twist, to have for lunches and quick dinners this week. I've also had a good weekend for all things food. A good shop on Friday at Choku Bai Jo; Margie & David's wedding on Saturday - with reception at Alto, up the tower; Sunday brunch at Cream; and some decent gardening and cooking sessions.

Tonight we had a vego dinner - giant mushrooms baked with garlic and thyme; home grown baby potatoes; and a warm salad of roast beetroot, marinated fetta and rocket. I've also got some African dishes ready for tomorrow, so when I get back from yoga it's just a mater of heating it up. There's a lemon chicken dish, and a mung bean dhal. I may post recipes later if I like them.

Soup recipe follows:
Recipe: Pea and Ham Soup
1 ham bone with plenty of meat on it
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
2 bayleaves
6 cloves
12 peppercorns
1 cup dried split peas, green
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas (optional)

Put the split peas in a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak overnight.

Take your Christmas ham bone out of the freezer, and pop it straight into a pot of water. Add everything else in the list, up to the peppercorns. Put on the stove to simmer for 3-4 hours. Strain, and refrigerate the stock. Discard vegetables and spices, and shred the meat, throwing out bones, gristle and fat.

Next morning, cook split peas until tender. Drain, discarding the water. Scrape fat from the stock, and combine with the peas. Add frozen peas if desired, and cook until thawed. Whiz up with a stab blender. Toss in shredded ham. Taste for salt & pepper and adjust to your taste.

Notes: If you don't have a Christmas ham bone, you might be able to buy one from a deli. Or a ham hock will do fine. Also, you might like to have some carrot chunks in the soup. I prefer not, but it is traditional. I like the extra (totally untraditional) green peas, they add a nice colour and freshness. Also, the ham will be pretty tasteless after its long boil, and is mostly there for colour and to advertise the ham stock. If you have some more ham on hand, it's nice to throw in some extra shreds. Or you could add some sausage, like a nice European frankfurter or rookwurst.

1 comment:

jj said...

I love pea soup but am having difficulties finding a really good recipe. Yours sounds like a winner, thanks!