No better way to lift the January gloom than a delicious bowl of soup, Ham & Pea is on ‘one of the best’ list!  well worth cooking a joint of ham, flavour the cooking water with onion, black pepper and a bay leaf, serve the ham day 1 with stir fry cabbage and mustard sauce….a la Ballymore Inn, then day 2 make the soup with the left over ham and stock, your work will be rewarded! don’t forget you can also use ham hocks, great flavour and very economical.

Serves 4/6

Knob of butter

2 tablespoon sunflower oil

1/2 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Thumb size piece of ginger, chopped

2/3 potatoes, peeled and diced

600g frozen peas

1 litre approx. ham stock

400g ham, trimmed of fat and chopped

To garnish, Greek yogurt and scallions, chopped

Heat the butter and oil together in a large saucepan, add in the onion, garlic, ginger, sauté for a few minutes, then add the potatoes, coat with the onion mixture and continue cooking over a gentle heat. Add the peas and ham stock, bring to the boil, then simmer until the potatoes are just cooked. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Add in the chopped ham, taste for seasoning. Serve with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a handful chopped scallions, good bread of course, the best bread with ham and pea soup is treacle bread from ‘Cooking at The Ballymore Inn’ let me know if you’d like the recipe.