Thursday 14 July 2011

Delicious: July 2011 - Pea, Ham & Lemon Soup

I really should be in bed at the moment but isn't it always the way when you think that you are going to get some early nights other things get in the way. I was ready to go to bed over an hour ago now but have had non-stop phone calls. Strange how the phone never rings when I am sitting up until all hours but when I think that I will get an early night it just doesn't stop. I really shouldn't be complaining though,  it is good to hear from people. 

There is some wonderful recipes in issue #106 of Delicious magazine. In fact I have made several of them already this month. I will be posting all the ones that I have made. There is even more that I would like to make. Jamie Oliver has a feature on doing a roast chicken and what you can make with the leftovers. There are some wonderful ideas especially the chicken & pumpkin salad. The pumpkin is roasted with ground coriander seeds & dried chilli. There are toasted chickpeas & pumpkin seeds along with left over chicken and stuffing with leaves. It would make a perfect lunch time meal. 

I am also keen to make Jill Dupleix's Hot & Sour Noodle Soup with Minced Chicken. It just sounds like I wonderful revitalising soup full of all those wonderful Thai ingredients. It should be easy to halve the recipe as it is probably one of those soups that wouldn't keep as well as some. What I would be really worried about is how well the prawns would reheat. Better just to reduce it then risk having rubbery reheated prawns. 

The first meal that I decided to make out of this issue was Matthew Evans' Pea, Ham & Lemon Soup. Matthew said 'that it would be brilliant to enliven pea & ham soup with lemon to make it lighter and brighter'. I am not really sure how much it lightened the soup up, perhaps I needed to add a bit more liquid to make a thinner soup. Although the lemony flavour did come through and it was very good. I had the ham bone left over from my ham at Christmas time still in the freezer so I used that in place of the ham hock. I did go to the trouble of making the ham stock first before making the soup and I do think that it did make a difference. Although the problem with using the ham bone was that it was too long for my stock pot and it was mid afternoon on a weekend when I started so couldn't take it down to my butcher to cut in half for me so I had to use my giant braising pan instead. There was some meat left on the bone (on purpose) but I also had a small chunk in the freezer that I cut up and put in the actual soup after making the stock. I would definitely go with using a hock next time. I did really enjoy this soup and it has made for good lunches with some in the freezer for a later date. The recipe claims to serve 8, I have at least 10 or 12 servings from it. 

Pea, Ham & Lemon Soup 

Ham Stock Ingredients: 
  • 1 kg ham hock
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Place all ingredients in a large stockpot with 4 L water and bring the the boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until meat pulls away from bone easily. 
  • Strain the stock, reserve the hock but discard the rest of the solids. 
  • Shred meat discarding skin & bones, set meat aside. 
Soup Ingredients: 
  • 40 g unsalted butter 
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped 
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c parsley chopped 
  • 500 g split green peas 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Place onions, carrot & celery into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, alternatively very finely chop. 
  • Heat butter in clean stockpot over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook, stirring until just starting to colour. 
  • Add parsley & cook 1 minute. 
  • Add peas and ham stock and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until peas fall apart. 
  • Add shredded ham and lemon and simmer a few more minutes. 
  • Taste and then season to taste with pepper. 
It was recommended to serve with crusty bread, I served mine with chilli & cheese cornbread muffins (recipe to come). 

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