This Pea, Ham and Mint Soup recipe came to life following our fabulous trip to Europe earlier this year (1000 Miles, 2000 Metres, 3 days and 4 countries; European Road Trip 2017 Stage One.). Once we arrived home we realised that we may have put on a teeny tiny bit of extra weight, having fervently sampled as many local delicacies as possible. In an effort to slightly reduce our waistlines I put together a series of tasty soups for our dinners, and this is the first. (It didn’t last, we’re back to roasts, curries and wine again now).
While I call this Pea, Ham and Mint Soup, I actually use smoked bacon in place of ham here – gammon or hock would also be a delicious substitute. Make sure your chicken stock is of good quality, as it makes up a large component of the dish. If I do not have my own homemade stock available then I use Kallo organic chicken stock cubes – no point using cheap, sad stock made out of beaks and feet. This is so very quick to put together and has a deliciously fresh, sweet flavour.
Serves 8 (ish). Cooking time: 10-15 minutes.
4 shallots, chopped
275g smoked bacon, chopped – reserve some to fry separately for topping the soup.
800g frozen peas
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a low to medium heat and add the shallots.
Fry for several minutes until golden, then add the diced bacon and fry for another two minutes.
Add the peas to the pan along with the hot chicken stock and bring to the boil.
Boil for a couple of minutes until the peas are just cooked.
Stir in the fresh herbs and season to taste with nutmeg and black pepper.
Whizz the whole lot up in a blender, check the seasoning again and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and a few crispy bits of bacon.