''The great thing about this soup is its vibrant colour in the dead of winter when fresh green vegetables are hard to find. The peas are frozen within hours of being picked, retaining all their sweetness and flavour so we can enjoy them throughout the year. The shredded ham hock adds a satisfying depth and texture that is perfect for shortwinter days.'' Heston
Heston's Pea and ham soup
- Preparation time: 15 minutes plus defrosting
- Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Total time: 25 minutes plus defrosting
907g bag frozen essential Waitrose Garden Peas
20g mint leaves
50ml grapeseed or groundnut oil
65g unsalted butter
75g sliced shallots
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
160g unsmoked streaky bacon, cut into strips
750ml vegetable stock
180g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Pulled Ham Hock
Spread the peas out on a baking tray lined with kitchen paper and allow to defrost completely.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop in the mint leaves for 15–20 seconds. Remove the mint and submerge immediately in a bowl of iced water. Remove the mint and dry the leaves with kitchen paper. Put the mint and oil in a liquidiser and blitz for 10–15 seconds. Strain the oil through a sieve and reserve for finishing the soup.
Melt 25g of butter in a saucepan and add the shallots, garlic and bacon. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until soft but not coloured.
Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add all but 75g of the peas and the remaining butter and remove from the heat immediately. Liquidise this mixture thoroughly, in batches if necessary.
Strain through a fine sieve, pressing through as many solids as possible and pour into a clean pan. Season to taste, then gently rewarm the soup.
With a hand-held blender, blitz the soup until foamy, then add the ham hock and remaining peas.
Carefully ladle the soup into 4 bowls and drizzle each bowl with the reserved mint oil.
Copyright © Heston Blumenthal 2011