December 29, 2014 by dgarnett2013
Green pea and ham soup: A Girl and Her Pig by April Bloomfield
For the broth:
- 900g meaty smoked ham hocks (or whatever hocks/ ham you have left over. I often add chorizo knuckles too).
- ½ medium Spanish onion, halved
- 3 small celery stalks, very roughly chopped
- ½ medium carrot, peeled, very roughly chopped
- 1 head garlic, halved horizontally, not peeled
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 6 black peppercorns
For the soup:
- 60g unsalted butter
- ½ small Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
- 2 tsps Maldon or other flaky sea salt
- 100ml dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- Five-fingered pinch of mint leaves, plus some torn leaves for finishing
- Two 340g packages Birds Eye frozen baby peas
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 or 4 tabs creme fraiche
Make the broth:
Combine the hocks, vegetables, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 2 litres water in a medium stockpot and bring to the boil over a high heat.
Turn the heat to low, put the lid on, and cook at a nice steady simmer until the meat on the hocks is so tender it’s almost falling off the bone, 4 to 5 hours.
Gently remove the hocks and put them in a big bowl. Strain the cooking liquid through a sieve into a bowl, and discard the vegetables and aromatics. Let the hocks cool in the liquid.
When the hocks are cook enough to handle, pull off the meat in bite-sized chunks. Discard the bones and hard bits and some of the fat. You can keep the skin or not depending on taste.
(You can keep the stock and meat – moistened with a splash of stock – in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to two days. If doing this, gently warm the meat before proceeding with the recipe).
This recipe requires only 1 litre of the stock – freeze the rest.
Make the soup: Put the butter in a large pot that has a lid and set it over a medium heat.
Once the butter starts to froth, add the onion, carrot, and salt and stir.
Cover the pot and cook, stirring every now and then, until the onions are soft and creamy, but not coloured, and the carrots are tender but firm – about 15 mins.
Add the wine and bring it to the boil. Let the wine boil until it’s all but gone – about 5 mins.
Add the mint and 1 litre of the ham broth and bring the liquid to the boil, then add the peas. (Take out some carrot chunks, if you want to keep more texture in finished soup).
Cook at a simmer until the peas are warmed through and tender, about 5 mins.
Blend the pot’s contents, in batches, until smooth.
Add the ham pieces (and carrots) and cook at very gentle simmer for about 5 mins, ust to let the flavours mingle and heat the ham.
Season if necessary.
Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, several twists of black pepper, and the torn mint leaves.
Then add creme fraiche in little blobs here and there, so everyone gets a bit.