Cook in: 30 mins
Soup is traditionally the perfect Autumn or Winter comforting dish, but Pea and Ham soup is a nice light dish for early Summer. British Peas are perfect at this time of the year and its lots of fun shelling them the old fashioned way rather than relying on the frozen sort!
For the Soup
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped
750ml chicken stock
500g peas (shelled weight)
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
200g roast ham off the bone, excess fat removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Croutons
25g butter (room temperature)
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
16 slices from a baguette loaf, cut about 1cm (½ in) thick
1 Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and celery and fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat until softened but not browned. Add the stock and bring to the boil over a high heat. Stir in the peas and bring back to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes or until they are just cooked.
2 Add the chives to the soup and purée until smooth.
3 Shred the ham into bitesize pieces and drop it into the soup. Set aside.
4 Next, make the croutons. Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Mix the butter and mustard together well. Lay the baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast on both sides under the grill until golden. Spread the mustard and butter mixture on one side of each slice of toasted bread.
5 Reheat the soup over a low heat. Season with salt and pepper, then serve with the croutons on the side.
You can pick up some great British peas in their pods from our Greengrocers.