|500g / 1lb 2oz of frozen or fresh peas|
|150g / 5oz cooked chunky ham (see Cook's Notes)|
|2 medium sized potatoes|
|1 large onion|
|125g (about 4 rashers) of smoked back bacon (see Cook's Notes)|
|225ml / just under half pint of milk|
|700ml / 1¼ pints of hot vegetable stock|
|1 garlic clove|
|2 tablespoons vegetable oil|
|Level teaspoon of dried mixed herbs|
|Salt and pepper (¼ teaspoon of each)|
The ideal time to cook this soup is when you have some leftover ham / gammon from a meal the day before. If you need to buy the ham then we always go to our supermarket and buy the trimmings which are almost always for sale. The ham bits are nice and chunky and about half the price of prime ham.
Unless you have peas growing in your garden then we suggest using frozen peas. They are better quality compared to the peas in shells which have been hanging around for a day or so in the supermarket. These will have lost much of their sweetness within a few hours of being picked.
Our recipe suggests putting half the ham in the soup before it is blended and using the other half as a topping. If you prefer a soup with more texture to it simply add all the ham to the soup after you have blended it.
Peel then cut the potatoes into small cubes.
Peel the onion and garlic then finely chop.
Remove any rind from the bacon then cut into small pieces.
Chop the into small cubes.
Place the pan on a medium heat then add the vegetable oil, bacon and onions. Fry them for 8 to 10 minutes turning the ingredients every couple of minutes to stop them burning and ensure they are evenly cooked.
Pour the hot stock into the pan then add the chopped potatoes. Turn up the heat slightly until the stock starts to boil. Now turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for 12 minutes.
Add the herbs, garlic, milk, peas and HALF of the chopped ham to the pan and simmer (don't boil) for ten more minutes.
Blend the soup until it's smooth. If you use a food processor you will need to blend half the soup at a time because it won't all fit into the food processor. Reheat the blended soup for a minute or so. Taste and stir in salt and pepper as required.
Serve the soup into warmed bowls sprinkling the remaining chopped ham over the top. Enjoy with lots of chunky bread.