Food from the Hill

A London food fanatic, living on Telegraph Hill

Pea & Ham Soup


Leave a comment

The BEST Pea & Ham Soup

I love this soup, I make it all of the time, so i thought I’d share it with you …

Ingredients to make enough to serve 4 hungry people:

  • 1 x smoked gammon joint
  • 1 x onion
  • 3 x carrots
  • 1 x celery stick
  • 10 x peppercorns
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • (You can chuck in any other roots veggies you have too.)
  • Frozen peas (millions of)

Now put the apron on and start by …

  1. Put the ham into a very large saucepan, chuck in all of the other ingredients except the peas.
  2. Cover with lots of water and bring to the boil.
  3. Skim off any foam off the surface of the stock.
  4. Cook for 2-3 hours depending on the size of the ham (the longer the better).
  5. Once cooked, remove the ham and set aside.
  6. Strain the cooking stock.
  7. You can add back in the carrots, onions etc. if you want to, but make sure you get rid of the bay and peppercorns.
  8. Bring the stock and veg back to the boil and add in a large amount of frozen peas.  Boil and then simmer for 4 minutes.
  9. Blitz with a food processor or liquidiser until smooth.  Check the seasoning.
  10. Tear some of the ham into strips and add to the soup.  Serve with huge chunks of fresh warm buttered bread.

Tuck in and enjoy!

Advertisements
Onion and Brandy Soup


Leave a comment

Onion and Brandy Soup

This soup was made for myself and a friend one Sunday afternoon when there was a surplus of onions left over in the veg box …

Ingredients to make enough to serve 2 hungry people:

  • 2 large white onions, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, cut into 3 inch pieces, then finely sliced length ways
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (you could use dried thyme instead – my thyme was a little past it’s best and practically dried anyway!)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (I used a 10 year old cider brandy that I found lingering at the back of my cupboard)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
  • 1 litre of very good beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to season (I found that the soup in this instance did not need any extra seasoning)

Now put the apron on and start by …

  1. Getting out a saucepan and adding  the oil, onions, leeks, thyme, salt and sugar.  Fry on a very gentle heat, stirring for a few minutes.
  2. Make a cartouche by cutting a round piece of grease proof paper, slightly larger than your saucepan. Run under the tap and scrunch into a ball.  Unfold and use this to cover your onion mix in the pan.  The paper should sit on top of the onion.
  3. Caramelise the onions very slowly on a low heat for 40 minutes, until very soft.  Check every 10 minutes and if you think the pan is too dry, add in a tablespoon of the beef stock to add some liquid.
  4. After 40 minutes, increase the heat to a high heat and add the Brandy.  Cook on a high heat for 1 minute to evaporate off some of the alcohol.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute.
  6. Increase the heat to full and add the beef stock and stir until the soup boils.
  7. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
  8. Check the seasoning, just in case!
  9. Serve with toasted french bread and melted Gruyere if you’re after a french style soup.
  10. This soup goes wonderfully with a cold crisp glass of Champagne.

Tuck in and enjoy!

Minted peas, broad beans and goats cheese


Leave a comment

Something Toasted with Minted Peas, Broad Beans and Goats Cheese

It’s a balmy June evening, the sun has finally put in an appearance, and after a weekend of high-octane eating with my cousin, I’m ready for something light, fresh and seasonal for my supper tonight. Cue sweet fresh peas, tiny broad beans and some ripe goats cheese….

Ingredients to make enough to serve 2 people who are not very hungry:

  • A small handful of fresh peas
  • A small handful of shelled and peeled broad beans
  • 2 spring onions, chopped into large chunks
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 100 ml of very good vegetable stock
  • A piece of bread per person – choose your favourite, I used freshly baked granary bread
  • 2 slices of good strong goats cheese
  • A little olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Pea shoots or tiny mint leaves to garnish

Now put the apron on and start by …

  1. Bringing the vegetable stock to the boil.  Once it’s boiling, add in the peas, broad beans, spring onions and 3/4 of the mint leaves.
  2. Bring up to boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
  3. Remove the goodies from the heat and remove some of the peas and broad beans, you’ll use these later for a garnish.
  4. Now place the remaining contents of the saucepan into a blender.  Add the remaining mint leaves and puree until smooth and silky.
  5. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  6. On the highest flame, heat a griddle pan on your hob.  Whilst this heats, take your choice of bread and brush both sides with a little olive oil.
  7. Griddle the bread on both sides until char-grilled.
  8. Remove from the heat and immediately pop on a slice of goats cheese onto your griddled bread.  You’re not aiming to cook the goats cheese, simply soften and warm it.
  9. Now dress with some of your chilled puree (make sure the seasoning is correct for your palate first), the peas and broad beans you reserved earlier, a few drops of olive oil and your chosen leaves.

Tuck in and enjoy!