Pea and ham soup
This soup is perfect for those cold winter days
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus defrosting
Cooking time: 10 minutes
907g bag frozen garden peas
20g mint leaves
50ml grapeseed or groundnut oil
65g unsalted butter
75g shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
160g unsmoked streaky bacon, cut into strips
750ml vegetable stock
180g pack pulled ham hock
1. Spread the peas out on a baking tray lined with kitchen paper and allow to defrost completely.
2. Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop in the mint leaves for 15–20 seconds.
3. Remove the mint and submerge immediately in a bowl of iced water. Remove the mint and dry the leaves with kitchen paper. Put the mint and oil in a liquidiser and blitz for 10–15 seconds. Strain the oil through a sieve and reserve for finishing the soup.
4. Melt 25g of butter in a saucepan and add the shallots, garlic and bacon. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until soft but not coloured.
5. Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add all but 75g of the peas and the remaining butter and remove from the heat immediately. Liquidise this mixture thoroughly, in batches if necessary.
6. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing through as many solids as possible and pour into a clean pan. Season to taste, then gently rewarm the soup.
7. With a handheld blender, blitz the soup until foamy, then add the ham hock and remaining peas. Carefully ladle the soup into four bowls and drizzle each with the reserved mint oil.