Recently I have been obsessed with James Martins home comforts and i couldn't wait to make something that for me is a staple home comfort, a hearty soup.
I have never been a fan of tinned soup, so homemade is really the only time i get to eat it and pea and ham would have to be one of my favourites - along with my mums butternut squash soup!
Now this soup has to be one of the most filling things i have ever eaton and is so simple to make. Its jam packed with vegetables and has a brilliant flavour thanks to the chunks of beautiful smoked gammon. The fluffy dumplings nestled on top makes it more than just a soup - it turns it into a proper British hearty meal. It's a perfect winter warmer for cold english days and since its given snow tonight i thought it would be perfect for a family lunch after a nice long countryside walk.
The Pea and Ham Soup
- 600g smoked gammon
- 3 onions, peeled
- 3 sticks of celery, trimmed
- 3 large carrots, peeled
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- ground pepper
- 500g frozen peas
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
- 1/2 a lemon
The Fluffy Dumplings (makes 12)
- 200g self-raising flour (plus extra for dusting)
- sea salt
- 100g unsalted cold butter ( tip; place the butter in the freezer 5-10 mins before use)
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
- Cut the gammon into long slices roughly 2cm thick, discarding any fat and skin. Then place them into a very large, deep pan.
- Finely chop the onions and celery, roughly chop the carrots, add to the pan and throw in the bay leaves.
- Cover with 3 litres of water, add a good pinch of pepper and place on a high heat
- As soon as it starts to boil, put then lid on and tun down the heat and leave to simmer for 1 1/12 hours, skimming away any foam or froth that forms on the top as it cooks.
- Meanwhile, put the flour for the dumplings into a bowl with a pinch of salt, then grate the chilled butter into the bowl and add a pinch of nutmeg.
- Add about 60ml of cold water to the mic and combine with your hands until it is one doughy piece.
- Divide into 12 equal-sized pieces and roll into balls. Place on a floured tray, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until needed.
- When your cooking time is up, taste the broth. The smoked meat should have seasoned the soup nicely but this give you the opportunity to season to your taste.
- Use tongs to remove the gammon from the broth and place the meat onto a board. shred and tear into irregular pieces and return them to the broth.
- Bring it back to the boil, add the peas and chopped rosemary and grate over the zest of the 1/2 a lemon.
- Next place your dumplings carefully on top of the broth. Turn the heat down to medium and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the dumplings have plumped up.
- Serve straight the way and enjoy.