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Winter Pea and Ham Soup

RECIPE

Pea and Ham Soup makes another great winter comfort food but why call it Winter Pea and Ham Soup? Well to start with it is extremely difficult to get fresh peas in Winter! And secondly I first made it during the winter months.

You can't beat good home-made soup and this is another easy one to make. When making this sort of soup quantities do not have to be exact and ingredients can be changed to suit your own personal taste.

Because of the lack of fresh garden peas I have used a combination of fresh Mange Tout, Sugar Snap Peas and frozen peas. These days you can find Mange Tout and Sugar Snap Peas in the supermarkets throughout the year.

If you are a fan of pea soup you might also like to try Mother's "Mushy" Pea Soup.

Pea and Ham Soup

Ingredients

Ham bones or Gammon shank to make stock
175g Mange Tout
175g Sugar Snap Peas
200g Frozen peas
3 Vegetable stock cubes
Bunch of fresh Mint (optional)
Freshly ground Black pepper
Water

Method

  • Mange Tout
    Mange Tout
    Sugar Snap Peas
    To make the soup I use an 8 pint pan.

  • For the stock put your ham bones or Gammon shank in the pan and fill with water until about an inch from the top. Bring to the boil and simmer for two hours.

  • Remove the bones and any meat from the stock. (Drain through a sieve if necessary t get rid of any bits. Taste the stock to see how salty it is. (Some ham bones will make a quite salty stock. This is not a problem but will be something to bear in mind at a later stage.)

  • The Mange Tout and Sugar Snap Peas will probably have been cleaned and top and tailed by the supermarket but if not you will have to do this. Add them whole to the stock.

  • Check the level of your stock and if need be add water to bring the level back to one inch from the top of your pan. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for an hour or so.

  • Taste the soup to see how salty it is. At this stage you add two or three vegetable stock cubes ( I prefer Knorr. I use the stock cubes both to enhance the flavour but also to season the soups as stock cubes are quite salty which is why you should add one at a time.) When dissolved, taste to see if a third is required.

  • Add the frozen peas and bring back to the boil and simmer for three or four minutes.

  • Finely chop your fresh Mint and add to pan. Add a generous few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Continue to simmer for a further two or three minutes and then remove from the heat.

  • Finally liquidise your soup either in a liquidiser (will need to do in batches) or with a hand-held liquidiser so that a smooth consistency is achieved. You will probably find a few fibrous strands in your soup so either pass through a colander or a sieve. The soup will be quite thin if you use a sieve.

  • (If you prefer your soup thicker you can add a couple of medium size potatoes and simmer the soup until the potatoes are soft and then liquidise again.)

  • Serve immediately or leave to cool and store in the fridge and reheat as required. If not using all at once only reheat the amount you need each time and not the whole pan of soup.

Serves 8

Making anything like this does not require you to use precise amounts so do not worry too much about weighing or the size of the ingredients.

If using a Gammon shank to make your stock there should be plenty of meat on the bone so don't throw it out as you can enjoy the meat cold in a sandwich.

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