Former editor of The Good Food Guide, restaurant writer for the Guardian and Glenfiddich three-time award winner Drew Smith shows how to prepare soups that are tasty, wholesome and wastefree with his new cookbook Broth to Bowl.
100g dried split peas
1 ham hock, unsmoked
2 tbsp double cream
Vinegar, mustard and olive oil for vinaigrette
Chopped fresh parsley
Bread to serve
• Soak the split peas overnight in cold water. Place the ham hock in a cooking pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes and skim off any scum that rises. Throw away the water and fill up with fresh water. Bring back to the boil, then leave to simmer on the stove at the lowest temperature for 4–5 hours until the hock has completely collapsed.
• Strain the peas and add to a casserole. Cover with enough hock broth and bring to a good rolling boil for 5 minutes. Then turn down and let it simmer for 50 minutes. It is done when the peas start to burst. Turn off the heat. Liquidize thoroughly to a purée. Stir in the cream. Taste and season.
• While the soup is cooking, remove the ham hock from the broth and trim the meat away from the fat and bones. Cut into small shards. Mix up a sharp little vinaigrette with vinegar, mustard and olive oil – in that order – to taste. Spoon over the ham shards and toss in chopped fresh parsley. Serve the soup topped with the ham vinaigrette and fresh bread.
Recipes taken from Broth to Bowl: Mastering the art of great soup from six simple broths by Drew Smith, published by Modern Books, £20 © Elwin Street Productions