As a child I was a fairly fussy eater or so I was told, but on reflection I don't know that I was that fussy, its just that I didn't like the foods that were served up to us. A lot of the foods that I like now are ones that my mum didn't like so they weren't on the menu, in particular salads. Even the cooked foods I like now I didn't like then because they were cooked to within an inch of their life so they tasted horrid(I'm gagging as I write).
One of the things I didn't eat as a kid was soup. Even as an adult I wasn't a big fan, until my eldest daughter Cherry (who by the way isn't a fussy eater) made Minestrone (or as we call it Mine Strone) soup at school. She came home very excited and insisted on making because it was so yummy and she was sure I would like it. I had my reservations but she made the soup, I loved it and the love affair with soup began. I started looking at soup in a whole new light, now realising that there were so many options out there other than Mum's vegetable soup with its favour dominated by onion and celery or my Mother-in-laws goopy split pea soup.
Soup has now become a winter staple in our house though hubby doesn't eat it (I think he was scarred for life by the split pea soup). I like to make a big batch and have it in the fridge or freezer for a quick easy lunch and it's great to take hot to the footy/netball in a vacuum flask.
This particular recipe was inspired by one of my best friends Gabby. I was visiting her a couple of weeks ago when she was making soup. She had been wanting to make pea and ham soup but there must have been a world shortage of split peas as she hadn't been able to get them anywhere, so she decided to try substituting red lentils. The soup was pretty good but
when I left her place I had made up my mind to make pea and ham soup, split peas or no split peas. I hadn't made pea & ham soup before but I couldn't see any reason why frozen peas wouldn't do the job, so I bought a packet and a ham hock. A few minutes prep, a couple of hours cooking and 'Easy Peasy & Ham Soup' was ready to eat.EASY PEASY & HAM SOUP
1 kg frozen peas
1 ham hock
1 medium onion (diced)
salt & pepper
Note: I like to peel the skin off the ham hock so the favour of the soup isn't too smoky.
Sauté the onion in a little oil over a medium heat in a saucepan large enough to fit your ham hock. When the onion is translucent added the ham hock, frozen peas and enough water to cover the hock, or at least nearly cover it. Note: The more water you add the thinner your soup will be.
Blend the peas, until smooth either in a blender or I use a stick blender in the saucepan. Add the ham back into the soup, season with salt & pepper to taste (if needed) and it's ready.
I like to add a few chilli flakes for an added little kick, and because of my wheat allergy, I quite often serve my soups with corn chips, instead of bread, they add a nice contrasting crunch.
If you want "comfort" in a bowl, make a mash of potato, sweet potato, creamed corn and cheese and add a big dollop of it to your soup with little extra grated cheese. This is soooooooo good I can't even describe it. YUMMO.
There you have it an easy winter warmer, and if you wanted to make a quicker version just use some diced smoky bacon instead of the ham hock. I'm sure it would be just as delicious.
Make, eat & enjoy, until next time