Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Old Fashioned Pea & Ham Soup

On a cold winters night all you need is a bowl of hot soup to keep you warm! This pea & Ham soup is so nutritious, you won't want for more.

Ps: This soup needs to be made a day in advance, so don't get home from work and try and rustle up this soup, it is cooked in the old fashioned way - patiently and gently. The quickest route is in a pressure cooker.

Old Fashioned Pea & Ham Soup

500 g dried peas
1 Smoked Hock
2 Big Potatoes
4 Celery Sticks
5 Leeks
2 Onions
Salt and Pepper

How to make it

Soak the peas overnight - drain them and rinse with cold water until the water is clear.
Chop the onions and celery.
Peel the potatoes and chop into little blocks.
Heat your pot and add a lump of butter.
Lightly fry the chopped onions, then the leeks and then the  celery - fry until almost soft.
Add potatoes, drained peas, the whole Hock on the bone, 3 liters of water - salt and black pepper.
Gently boil for about 2 hours until the meat is soft- add more water if needed.

(NOTE: If you are using a pressure cooker, bring to pressure for about 10 minutes. Switch off - and go to work or do your shopping. When you come back open the pressure cooker and everything will be soft and ready - we much prefer that, you really don't have 2 hours to watch a pot!)

When the meat and peas are soft, you are ready to go.
Remove the meat from the pot - let it cool and them remove fatty bits for your dogs.
Chop the rest of the meat off the bone in small chunks and keep separate.

Liquidize the rest of the soup until it becomes a lovely smooth texture.
Re-heat and add more water if you don't like it thick.
Test your seasoning and add more salt and pepper.
Add chopped smoked hock and stir through whilst heating - just heat, do not boil.

Serve with herbed croutons, garlic bread or fresh brown bread.
Garnish with fresh green peas or just croutons.

  • You can buy croutons, or make your own - it is as easy as pie. (Heat oven to 180 degrees. Take sliced bread, white or brown. Slice of crusts, and cube. Put bread in flat oven pan - grind salt over, sprinkle with dried parsley or any dried herb you fancy. Drizzle with olive or cooking oil and bake. Toss every now and then. Keep your eye on the oven - one moment they are white the next moment they are black! Takes about 10 minutes. When the cubes are golden brown - remove and serve with your soup. Can be made in advance, and kept in airtight container.)
  • Pea Soup freezes very well. Freeze small containers for another chilly night.
  • Smoked Hock we normally find at Seemans’s, or ask your butcher. You can also use the Smoked Pork Steaks.

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