This is a recipe that nearly didn't happen after significant difficulty in finding a main ingredient - the gammon. For those unfamiliar:
Off to the most excellent Mondo's where I acquired not only the required gammon, but also two different types of bacon. (One of which is for another dish). I can certainly recommend Mondo's. I honestly felt silly for not checking there in the first instance. They have great stuff, and reasonably priced. Unlike some in the western suburbs.
Anyway, step one of the soup making, is making a ham stock. And this is where I met another hurdle.
Unfortunately, what with the running around to source gammon, and the unexpected need to go shoe and jeans shopping with my small person, I didn't get back until 3pm, making it not doable that day. So it got pushed out to Sunday.
Steps to do:
- Make gammon (ham) stock
- Let the whole thing cool
- Shred some of the gammon
- defrost (a lot of) frozen peas
- Cook shallots, etc
- Reheat stock
- Put in most of the peas, cook some more
- Puree it
- Strain it
- eat with shredded ham and extra peas.
Making StockI decided that it was too late to make that soup, but clearly not too late on a Saturday night to make stock. I can be odd like that. So, here's the stock ingredients, and the requisite cup of coffee. it's requisite for me, the recipe doesn't require it. You might like wine, or scotch or I don't know, rainwater. Whatever is your thing.
See my lovely gammon? Smells good, even before cooking.
Making soupA chunk of gammon weighed for shredding for later inclusion. The big bit I stuck in the freezer, I'll do something with it later. Too good to waste.
You know what this soup needs, for something different? Butter!
Okay, did I mention I was also making the mint oil that's recommended to accompany it? I'm making mint oil. So while the soup is aside, I measure out my mint. It needed a lot more than I expected to get to 25g! Almost a whole big bunch. That gets blanched in boiling water, then ice to keep its colour.
Verdict:Well, I was convinced. You known how pea and ham soup doesn't actually taste like pea and ham (because its made with split peas, and bacon bones I think). Well, this soup tastes like pea and ham. And a dash of mint. Which of course, it should. But then much like that chicken stock that was so revelatory to me since it tasted like roast chicken, this was a similar pleasant surprise.
It was a straightforward dish to make (other than needing the time to bake the stock, but that wasn't hard). It was all pretty basic stuff really, no complicated steps or anything. It looked great and the taste was very good. I'd certainly consider this for a dinner party.
Guest opinions:Family enjoyed it. (Two potential guests we caught too late and missed out.) Daughter pleasantly surprised despite insisting she didn't like pea and ham soup. Husband noted, "It's very ham-y" and then "Nice". This was later expanded in later conversation to "The best pea and ham soups I've ever eaten."
If you are a ham/bacon fan (and not adverse to peas) I do think this would be a winner.
Personally, I still can't get over the colour! Almost like real food isn't that green, is it?
Next: Hmmm.. maybe eggs?