Ahh… pea soup! Oi… get your mind out of the gutter… that *wasn’t* an instruction!! I’m sitting here surrounded by the aroma of boiling ham hocks with those subtle underlying hints of bay leaf, parsley, thyme and pepper… it’s quite gorgeous.
On the weekend we were in Woolworth’s and I saw a couple of hocks sitting on the Deli counter so bought them along with a couple of packets of split peas. Ok I’d have preferred those ‘whole’ peas known here as ‘Blue Boilers’ but you can’t buy what you can’t find on sale. I’ll have to look in other places in future, but for now, the split peas will do.
Up on the counter facing the pan in which the hocks are bubbling away gently is a glass bowl inside which, and looking swell, are the peas with their bright green skins glistening in their water, all fresh faced and eager to please. Peas please? Hmmm.
The hocks will simmer for an hour or three and then tomorrow they’ll be flayed and have their meat hacked and chopped and stored in the fridge until the peas are ready. The remaining bones will go to the dogs. Not sure if boiled ham bones are actually good for dogs, but they love them so we hope for the best.
Lastly the stock and peas will join forces in a pan and simmer gently for a couple of hours along with adequate seasoning of course, and when they are ready… in goes the chopped ham.
Ready to serve? Nearly. A dollop, or to be polite a spoonful, of sour cream, a sprinkle of paprika and maybe a small sprig of parsley for effect… and we’re done.
Instead of the sour cream etc, some people prefer a slight squeeze of lemon or lime juice, each to their own.
I’m happy without.
I just love home made pea soup. I’ve said as much in here several times in the past… and I hope to do so many times more in the future! Perhaps I *do* need that book on British cooking after all. 🙂