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Sunday, 28 September 2014

AUTUMNAL PEA AND HAM SOUP

Good Morning to you,


"I'm late, I'm late,
for a very important date.
No time to say, hello, goodbye.
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

.... well, that quote from the 1951, Alice in Wonderland film, certainly applied to me on Wednesday.

Shall I tell you what happened.

Our lovely neighbour is building a new deck in his garden and in doing so, he had tons of top soil which he wanted to dispose of.

So, on Sunday, when George was working in his garage, our neighbour popped over to ask, if we would like some top soil for the garden. George said we would love some, as we have been building up our flower beds, but we still needed quite a lot more soil. Our neighbour was so pleased that we could make use of the soil, so the soil, was duly wheel barrowed into our garden.  

We were doing a grand job of dividing the soil between our flower beds, but we had really only made a small dent in the huge mound of soil. When we started the project, the weather was fine, but then we heard the weather was going to change and that rain was heading our way. Yes, you've guessed it, we needed to get a wiggle on and get all of the soil onto the flowerbeds before it rained, otherwise we would have had a large muddy mess in the garden..... and there lies the problem.  We were both so enthusiastic, George filling the wheel barrow and me, digging in the soil, that I overdid it and  hurt my knee.  I have to say that is typical of me, where the garden is concerned, I do not go slowly, slowly, I go on, and on, and on, and on, until the job is finished.  I should know better, but where the garden is concerned, if a job needs to be finished, I get so involved with what I am doing, that it isn't until I stop, that I think to myself, "I think I have done just a little too much".  Has that ever happened to you? I feel sure I am not on my own in this.

We managed to complete the job, but it was when I was making our supper that my knee started to hurt, so I was ordered, by Dr George, to put my foot up on a stool, for a couple of days, and not to walk on it.... of course I resisted, saying my knee would be fine, but that was fruitless, as George was watching my every move. 

So I am sorry I did not meet up with you on Wednesday, but I am really pleased to be tapping on my keyboard, and sharing with you, 


a lovely, Autumnal, Pea and Ham Soup.  This soup is not a rich, thick, winter soup, instead the broth is quite light and slightly thickened with red split lentils.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,




the most fabulous Ella Fitzgerald.  I have a number of her albums and never tire of her wonderful voice. Listen to 'It's Only a Paper Moon', 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' and 'You'll Never Know'.  I just know, you will love Ella's voice as much as I do.

So whilst I am listening to, 'Taking a Chance on Love' I will organise my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS
TO MAKE
PEA AND HAM SOUP

225g smoked gammon
2 large onions
2 sticks of celery
4 large carrots
100g red split lentils
200g frozen small garden peas
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 bay leaves
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 chicken stock cubes

RESERVE

2 litres of  cooking liquid
from the cooked ham

HOW 
TO MAKE
PEA AND HAM SOUP

Firstly, place the gammon into a saucepan
and cover with cold water.

Bring to the boil and simmer
for
50 minutes - 1 hour

When cooked, leave to stand in the
cooking liquor for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the ham from the
cooking liquor and place on a plate.
Cover until needed.


Towards the end of the gammon's cooking time,

finely slice the onions.


Pour the 
olive oil into a pan.
Add the onions


and
cook until golden brown.


Whilst the onions are cooking,
dice the celery into small pieces
and


cut the carrots
into large chunks.


Place 2 litres of  the cooking liquid,
from the cooked ham,
into a fresh pan
and
dissolve the chicken stock cube or cubes.

Add the cooked 
onions,
diced celery,
carrots,



red split lentils,


along with
the bay leaves,



sea salt
and


black pepper.

Bring to the boil.
Place a lid on the pan,
reduce the heat
and simmer
for
30 minutes.


Add the garden peas
and simmer for another 3 - 4 minutes.


Juice the lemon.

Taste the soup, being very careful
as the soup is hot.
Add a little lemon juice,
taste
and
add more if needed,
until you are happy with the flavour.

If you feel the soup needs more seasoning, then
add a little more
sea salt and black pepper.


Ladle the soup into a bowl
and shred
as much or as little of the ham as you like,
into the soup.

I have a little and George has a lot of
shredded ham.

Then pick up your spoon and enjoy.

You will have noticed that in the ingredients section, I have called the ham, gammon, but when the gammon is cooked I refer to it as ham.  The reason being, before a ham is cooked it is known as gammon, but once cooked, it is referred to as ham.  I thought I would clear that little nuance up, in case you thought I had made a mistake.

I love the flavour of browned onions, but if you prefer your onions translucent and maybe cut a little smaller, then please do so.

Before I go, I was just wondering,

when you read the quote at the beginning, did you see the White Rabbit in your mind's eye? Could you hear him saying the words?

.... and are you wondering why I chose the quote? 

Well, I shall tell you. Many years ago now, when Natasha and Danielle were little girls, they both loved the story of, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, but I could not remember if the quote 'I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date' came from the book, I have a feeling, the words are incorrect.... but I remember they were spoken by the White Rabbit in the 1951 film of Alice in Wonderland.... and do you know how I remember this.... well the girls, not only loved the book they loved the film Alice in Wonderland and they watched it so many times, that many of the quotes are etched in my mind.

So take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,












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