Ham, Leek and Pea Soup

This is possibly the easiest AND tastiest version of pea and ham soup I have ever found. It uses frozen peas rather than the dried split peas which gives the soup a brighter colour and a fresher flavour…and it uses gammon steaks which is great if you like to avoid the likes of ham hocks etc.

The Recipe: Paul Rankin’s Ham, Leek and Pea Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1½ onions, chopped
300g gammon, chopped
6 leeks, chopped
600g frozen peas
900ml chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6tbsp double cream (optional)

Method:
Heat some olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, gammon and leeks and cook for around 6 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the peas and stock to the saucepan and cook for around 10 minutes. Season.

Take the saucepan off the heat and blend the mixture until the soup has a smooth texture. Heat the soup through without boiling. When its ready, pour into bowls and garnish with the double cream if using.

Lentil and Chorizo Hotpot

This is one of my most favourite recipes ever!!! My good friend Nic who I used to live with, used to make this all the time for us… and every time we’d end up stuffing ourselves with double helpings because it’s so good!!! Anyways here is her recipe. It really is so quick and so easy….and more importantly sooooo tasty!

The Recipe: Lentil and Chorizo Hotpot
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
250g chorizo, chopped (be generous)
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
250g brown lentils, soaked overnight
2 stock cubes
1-1.5 litres of boiling water

Method:
Fry the onions, garlic, pepper, chilli and chorizo in a little olive oil until the onions are brown and soft. Add the lentils, carrot and potato, and cook for a further few minutes. Then add enough boiling water to cover everything…and a bit more…and throw in the 2 stock cubes. Stir well and simmer for 40 minutes. I would stir it a few times again while its simmering. Season to taste and serve.