Pulling peas

It’s the pea season in England, and Tesco’s are currently promoting them with a 3 for 2 deal.
These BOGOF type promotions are terrific for those who like me have big fridge freezers, but we should be aware that we are being subsidised by many who don’t. 
I say this in passing, for the (legitimate?) purpose of sales promotion is to maximise short term sales.

I remember as a child in Yorkshire during the pea harvesting season being paid sixpence to pull a sack of ripe pea pods. The peas pods were taken to the local Findus factory, where they were shelled and frozen. I’d then return to the field the next day to glean what had not been harvested for my family.
As an adult for many years I have only bought frozen peas, and thrown them into a recipe a few minutes before it’s cooked.

But this year I used fresh peas in my Green Pea and Ham Soup Recipe. 
They taste good. As well as peas, the soup uses a chunk of cooked ham and is the perfect way to use up left over baked ham. Chop into small pea-sized chunks. 

Mint is the perfect partner to peas 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
4 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
900ml/1½ pt beef or chicken stock
Small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sprig of fresh mint, plus extra for garnish
500g green peas
150g piece cooked ham, cut into pea-sized dice
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
In a large heavy based saucepan, heat the oil to hot but not burning. 
Add the onions and cook over a medium heat until translucent – about 5 mins, take care not to cook too high, the onions should be softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add your chosen stock, chopped parsley, the leaves from the sprig of mint, 300g of the peas and 100g of the ham (keep the remaining peas and ham to one side for later). 
Simmer over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, the peas should be cooked and the ham warmed through.
Blend the soup in a food processor until a thick, chunky soup is created; if you under blend the soup the skins of the peas will still be visible, make sure these are well blended. 
If the soup is too thin it can be reduced down in the next step, too thick then add a little boiling water.
Pour the soup back into the saucepan, add the remaining peas and ham and cook until the peas are cooked and the ham warmed right through. 
Check the seasoning and add black pepper and salt as desired, be careful with the salt as the ham can be quite salty enough.
Serve in warm bowls with a few shredded mint leaves on top and chunks of bread and butter.

Published by Rob

Now 70, I'm getting back into website development and brand protection, as well as showcasing the delightful artistic talents of my beautiful wife Lynne. My projection will encompass a lifetime of database marketing, as well as the Christian democratic socialist ideals of my wife and I.

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