Pea & Potato Soup with Ham

 

Pea Soup - 003aThis somewhat deconstructed pea and ham soup uses fresh or
frozen peas rather than dried split peas which gives it a vibrant green colour and sweet, fresh flavour.

It looks smooth, delicious and creamy, but uses potato to thicken the soup which is then puréed to give it a creamy texture, so it is a soup without any dairy products which makes it ideal for those who
cannot or prefer not to, include dairy in their diet.

The soup can also easily be turned into a vegetarian soup – see tip at end of recipe.

Pea & Potato Soup with Ham

You can usually find a decent ham bone with plenty of meat still on it at the deli counter in the supermarket.

Our local New World in Hastings almost always has a couple – they are bones left from the sliced ham in the deli counter. I often buy one of these to make pea and ham soup during the winter and it is one of these bones which I have used for this soup stock and garnish.

Serves 4

1 ham bone – skin and fat removed and discarded, meat removed and reserved
1 large (about 200g) onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots (about 150g each), roughly chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
1 cup roughly chopped parsley leaves and stems
2 tsp black peppercorns
3L water
500g potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large chunks – I don’t bother peeling but you can if you wish
3 cups fresh or frozen peas
½ small (about 50g) red onion, diced
salt and freshly ground  black pepper
watercress leaves or sprigs, to garnish (optional)

1              Place ham bone, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, peppercorns and water in a large saucepan, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
2              Strain and discard ham bone and vegetables. Allow to cool completely. Skim off any fat that has set on the surface of the stock and discard. Remove 1 cup stock and set aside.
3              Return remaining stock to a clean saucepan, add potatoes, cover and bring to the boil. Remove lid and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add peas and cook for 10 minutes longer. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth – do this in batches if necessary. Return pureed soup to a clean saucepan and heat through.
4              Meanwhile, dice reserved ham meat. Place ham meat,
reserved stock and onion in a saucepan, bring to simmering and
simmer for 15 minutes or until ham is heated through.
5              To serve, divide soup between serving bowls and top with some of the ham mixture. Garnish with sprigs of watercress, if
desired.

Vegetarian Option: Omit the ham bone and use vegetable stock – start the recipe at step 3 using vegetable stock. Top the soup with crumbled feta cheese or diced semi-dried tomatoes.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Another soup you might like to try:

Watercress & Zucchini Soup

Watercress & Zucchini Soup