This is not your average pea and mint soup and has the most amazing sweet & salty flavour. A delicious starter to impress a few friends and very little work to prepare.
Wine Suggestion: a lighter weight red with spicy, peppery tannins was our choice, making sure it had a wonderful freshness of acidity too. We opted for a regular favourite, the unoaked Jesus Romero Rubus from Teruel in Spain. The absence of oak seemed to accentuate the “Spring” freshness of the peas and helped lift the grey, windy and damp January day.
Pea Soup with Jamón & Mint – serves 4
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 150g jamón serrano (Spanish cured ham), finely chopped
- a small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
- 500g podded peas (frozen are fine)
- 1 litre chicken stock (it’s worth using home-made for this recipe)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden, then add the carrot and bay leaves. Fry for another 5 minutes, then add the garlic, two-thirds of the jamón and half the mint. Fry for another minute or so before adding the peas. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the stock and simmer gently until the peas or tender, 2-3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and liquidise until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt and pepper and add the reserved mint. Serve with the rest of the jamón on top and drizzle with olive oil.
(Original recipe from The Moro Cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark, Ebury Press, 2001.)