split pea and smoked speck ham soup

I have always thought there is something magical in the combination of pork and pea. However, it is sad to state, that quite often, the results I am served under this category have been, well, less than inspired and not at all magical. I don’t know what it is they were missing, but I always felt like they should be … better.

Gifted with a pressure cooker that had remained unused since it was carried over in my grandmother’s suitcase from Sicily to Australia in 1968 (that’s a post for another time), I decided to christen it with an experiment made up of some green split peas and a chunk of russian smoked speck.

My Mrs informed me, after dinner, that she is not a fan of ham and pea soup, but she would eat this again in the future. That is unbelievably high praise, let me tell you.

Ingredients

  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, very finely chopped
  • 375g smoked speck – half cut into 1cm thick slices and the rest roughly chopped.
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 6 baby potatoes, roughly quartered
  • 1 cup split green peas
  • 1 litre water

Directions

  • Rinse split peas under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain.
  • In the pressure cooker, melt the butter, add onion, garlic and celery and sauté until tender (10-12 minutes)
  • Add the speck and heat through
  • add the carrots, potatoes, split peas and water and mix the ingredients
  • When water begins to boil, add the pressure cooker lid and cook under pressure for 22 minutes
  • de-pressure the cooker and check on the soup. if potatoes are cooked, peas tend to be soft as well.
  • If the soup seems a little clear and thin, a rigorous stir will break up the potatoes and peas and will give the soup it’s distinctive colour and texture
  • Serve with crusty bread.
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