Thick pea and ham soup
I'm so outraged by the fact that it snowed yesterday - in April - I've reverted to winter food. Here's a ribsticking soup that will do for a main meal with some crusty bread and cheese. (If you like mushy peas you'll love it!)
If you haven't got a ham bone (though see my blog on why they're worth tracking down) you could fry up some bacon bits or streaky bacon with the veg instead. Don't use slithery, sliced ham. It doesn't have enough flavour.
1 tbsp light olive oil or other cooking oil
Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or casserole, add the butter then once it’s melted tip in the chopped and sliced vegetables (and bacon if using) and give them a stir. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the ham bone , the split peas and bayleaf then pour in enough water to cover the bone (about 750ml). Bring to the boil and skim then simmer the soup for about an hour until the peas are soft and mushy. Remove the bone and herbs and add a little extra water or vegetable stock to thin the soup a little. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chop up the ham and parsley, add to the soup and reheat. Check seasoning and serve.
* You can whizz it up in a liquidiser or food processor but I like it to have some texture.