Ohhhhh no we’re not in Kansas anymore…..being homesick can be such a boor when your travelling, it’s at times like these you look for creature comforts to perk you up! Here I go being nostalgic! Edinburgh has a beautiful city scape, lush green parks and a quirky chirpy vibe….mixed with an underground funk that came as a welcome surprise 🙂 On the flip-side the days have drawn shorter, the frost has set in and the night is dark and full of terrors….many nights in catching up with my addiction to ‘GOT’…don’t judge me!
It’s on night’s like this that I just want familiar home cooked yummieness and nothing quite fills the tummy like a bowl of comfort soup; made famous in the Sheil Family Kitchen by my puppa and recreated (to the best of my abilities) for you here:
1 smoked ham hock, approx 500-600g (if you can get your hands on a lean hock then 400-500g would be plenty)
1 bacon bone, this is just to add extra flavour
1 onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced
6 carrots, diced
1 whole celery, stems diced
500g bag green split peas
2.0 litres of water
ginger, 2 inch cube with the skin peeled off
whole reg chilli, make tiny slits down one side (use a fork)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 stems of flat leaf parsley, tied together by loose stems
extra virgin olive oil
salt and cracked pepper, to serve
parsley, to serve
ciabatta roll, warmed to serve
1. Fry the garlic and onion in a large pot with enough olive oil to lightly cover, stir until fragrant.
2. Add all the veg to the pot (zucchini, carrot and celery) and fry off until the carrots start to soften (aprox 5min)
3. Open the whole bag of split peas into the pot and stir through until all the veggie juices have been absorbed by the peas, now its time to add your smoked ham hock and bacon bones directly on top of the veggie mixture.
4. Then cover with water and place the chilli, ginger and parsley on top of the mix before placing the lid on.
5. Once the soup has boiled reduce temperature to a medium simmer (consistent bubbles but not a bubbling furry) and leave it for 40min, stirring occasionally to avoid the heavy peas from settling.
NB: I like to prepare this soup in the afternoon if I can and let it cook on low for a further hour whilst I potter and chill out, this way by tea time the whole dish is perfectly infused, not a necessity but a nice option to note down)
6. At the 40min mark, take the lid off and search for the bacon bone, ham hock, chilli, ginger and parsley stems to remove. Discard all but the meat left on the ham hock. When de-boning the hock avoid keeping any fatty bits and dice the ham meat before adding back to the soup.
7. Let the soup bubble away whilst you warm some ciabatta in the oven! (I like to mix some diced garlic into butter and spread onto the sliced roll before putting into the oven to make some ‘last-minute’ garlic bread – makes the kitchen smell homey!)
Serve Soup with a splash of good extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, a touch of cracked pepper and warm garlicey bread!!!!
Disclaimer: best served on a cold winters night accompanied by a quality season marathon!!!