The delightful name of this thick pea and ham soup comes from the peasouper fogs that used to engulf London until the late 1950s. Traditionally made with split green or yellow peas, which require soaking overnight, you can speed up the cooking time if you like by making it with no-soak green lentils instead - it will taste just as good. Serves six to eight.
Yield: 6 Servings Ready in 45 minutes
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|For; the ham|
|1 smoked ham hock; soaked overnight in cold water|
|1 onion, peeled and halved|
|1 stick celery; roughly chopped (reserve the leaves for garnishing)|
|8 black peppercorns|
|1 bay leaf|
|2 -3 sprigs fresh thyme|
|1 handful parsley stalks|
|For; the soup|
|200 gramsgreen split peas; soaked overnight in cold water (or 200g green lentils)|
|1 onion, diced|
|1 4/5 litre ham stock from cooking the ham|
London Particular Preparation
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Some leftover cooked boiled ham
Celery or lovage leaves
Drain and rinse the soaked ham hock and put it into a large saucepan along with the onion, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme and parsley stalks. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for two to two and a half hours, until tender. Leave to cool in the liquid, then remove and strain the stock through a sieve into a bowl. Reserve the stock for making the soup, and shred the meat into bite-sized chunks. Taste the stock: if it''s too salty, let it down with a bit of water.
Rinse the soaked peas until the water runs clear (if you''re using lentils, pick over them and rinse).
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and sweat the onion until soft and translucent. Add the peas (or lentils) and the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off any scum. Simmer until the peas (or lentils) are very soft, between 20-45 minutes. Blitz about three-quarters of the soup in a blender until smooth, adding a little more stock if it''s too thick. Season to taste. Return to the saucepan with the unblended soup, add some of the ham and warm through. Serve in warmed bowls, with some celery or lovage leaves scattered over the top.
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[I posted this recipe.]
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