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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Pea & Ham Soup (without the peas)

A post-Christmas tradition in our home

This is a soup my mum makes every year after Christmas, when we are getting down to the bones of the Christmas ham. It really is kind of inappropriate for the warm Summer weather we have down here at Christmas, and it would be perfect for winter, but Australians still enjoy recreating a British/European feast for Christmas, and whilst you can eat ham cold and in ham salad and sandwiches, there's not much else you can do when it gets to the final scraps than make soup.
Each year mum makes this soup with a lot of dried, split peas added, and each year my brother and I whinge and moan because we don't like split peas. They're so mushy and grainy, and if you happen to get a bowl with not only a layer of mushy peas, but a knuckle of gristly bone, then your entire evening is ruined. RUINED!! So this year, in deference to popular opinion...no peas! At least, I haven't been able to see any, but as the weather has been so warm I have to admit I haven't been in much of a thick soup mood and have only had one small bowl (taken from the top of the pot...those nasty peas lurk at the bottom, in the dregs, where they belong!). For all I know they could be down there, biding their time, waiting in glee, and mum could be giggling away as she reads this, knowing it won't be long until I find their nasty, slimy presence in my bowl.
Although I emailed mum to ask what she puts in the soup, I haven't yet had a reply so I'm assuming it includes the big ham bone, carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, water...ermm.....all boiled up for a while.
I knew the soup would be pretty unphotogenic so decided the rest of the photo had to be! I'm pretty darn impressed with this result and, in great pride, sent it in an email to A. at work who came back quickly with:
"Do you have a bowl after the red thing jumped in the soup?"


UPDATE: After hearing from my mother I can confirm the awful truth...there *were* dried split peas in that soup! But only 1/4 of a packet as she couldn't be bothered going out to buy more. I'm not complaining!! She also told me the base of the soup was chicken stock and the ham bone, and that potato was not a usual ingredient in the soup; she used it to replace the dried peas. A much nicer alternative.


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