Pea and Ham Soup with Parsley Crème Chantilly
This recipe is perfect winter comfort food at it's best. I will never forget the taste of my mother's pea and ham soup and this recipe is based on her original.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 sticks of celery diced
- 1 smoked ham hock (bacon hock)
- 3 cloves of garlic grated
- 1 ½ cups green split peas rinsed under cold water and check for any stones or debris
- 2 l (8 cups) cold water
- ½ teaspoon allspice berries (allspice seeds) use ground if you cant find whole
- ½ whole black pepper corns
In a deep pot gently fry the carrot, onion, celery and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add the split peas, ham hock, water and bring to the boil. Tie the allspice and peppercorns in a small muslin, add to the pot, skim the top of the soup and simmer for 2.5 hours.
Cook until the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Take out the ham hock and allow to cool then peel off and discard the skin, take the meat off the bone and chop meat into desired size and set aside.
At this stage you can choose whether you want a smooth puree soup or a rustic country style chunky soup…
For the puree soup take – blend up small batches of the peas and vegetables in a blender or food processor till creamy smooth and pass through a fine sieve.
For the croutons dice 2 slices of regular sliced toast bread evenly into 1 cm squares, heat 4 tablespoons of canola oil till hot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and the diced bread and stir so that the croutons brown evenly, as soon as they are golden drain off though a sieve, tip onto paper towels to cool, season with salt.
Add diced meat back to the soup and bring back to the boil. Serve into warm bowls and garnish with Parsley Crème Chantilly – finely chop 3 tablespoons of parsley then gently fold into 1 cup of whipped cream with a pinch of salt and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice.