Saturday, 4 February 2012

Pea & Ham Soup

Every Christmas and New Year, at some point a ham or two will be cooked in our house.  Firstly simmered in water, and then into a hot oven with a glaze.  Every time, year after year, the flavoured stock the ham has created I have poured away.  All of the taste of the ham and aromatics which has spent several hours in the saucepan getting to know each other wasted, gone and never to come back.  Many times I have had it cross my mind that, next year I really must use this stock.  Not just once or twice, but four or five times.  But never have.

So as the ham cooked on New Year’s Day cooled in the stock, I decided this would be the time I would use would use it.  Once the ham had been removed and it strained to remove the vegetables, I left it to go cold over night.  This allows and fat in the stock to form on the surface and solidify, so that it can be easily removed. 

When you buy a ham to cook, try and get one with a bone in it.  Once you have carved the ham, keep the bone.  When cooking the soup, if you use the ham bone, it will increase the flavour.  You can still make this without one.

This is a warming, comforting soup that is perfect for the start of a new year.  On the side I have Malted Grain Bread to dunk into and mop up the last remnants at the end.

Pea & Ham Soup

Pea and Ham Soup with Malted Grain Bread

Serves 4

:: Butter  :: 2 medium Onions, finely chopped  :: 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped  :: 1 tbsp Thyme leaves  :: 3 medium Potatoes    :: 1 litre Ham Stock  :: 1 Ham Bone  :: 600g Frozen Peas  :: 150ml Milk  :: 6 large slices of Ham  ::  Rapeseed Oil  :: Salt & White Pepper

Place a large saucepan on a medium heat, sweat the onions, garlic and thyme  in the butter for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured.  Add the stock, bone, peas and the potatoes that you have chopped into chunks to the pan.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour.

Then add the milk and four of the ham slice and simmer for a further 5 mins.  Using a stick blender, process until smooth.  Taste to see what seasoning it needs, be careful with the salt as the ham stock will already by salty.  Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

To serve, shred or flake the remaining two ham slices.  Place a little ham in the bottom of each bowl, and ladle the soup on top.  Place a few flakes of ham on top of the soup along with a drizzle of rapeseed oil.

8 comments:

  1. My parents always cook a big ham around Christmas time so this recipe reminds me of home. When I was younger it would last for days and be used in all sorts of ways. Looks really tasty.

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    1. Hi Corina - Yes there is always different ways to use it up. My other favourite way is good old ham, egg and chips!!

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  2. I bet it was delicious. Sometimes the stock is too salty from a ham, but othertimes it works well.

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    1. Thanks Janice, it was very nice. Yes sometimes the stock can be too salty. When cooking a ham I first bring it to boil in plain water, discard the water and put fresh in and do the same again. Then I put in fresh water the third time with any aromatics. This usually does the trick.

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  3. Delicious! I'm curious as to why you chose Rabeseed oil over simply EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or any other oil?

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    1. Hello Joanne, thanks for popping by:) Rapeseed Oil is much healthier and the one I used is locally produced, and tastes fantastic.

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  4. I really don't make enough soup given how tasty, warming and versatile it is, not to mention that it's usually such good value.
    Mmmm!
    Wanted to thank you for your enthusiasm about my new ice cream challenge too, and can't wait to see what the inaugural entrants come up with!!!

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    1. I don't make enough either! Trying to make it more often now - especially in the colder weather.

      Really looking forward to your ice cream challenge.

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