Pea soup is made sophisticated with floating toast and Serrano ham. Photo courtesy Kyle Books.
Pea Soup Recipe
With Serrano Ham & Toast
This recipe is from Chef José Pizarro’s Seasonal Spanish Food (read the review), a conversational-style cookbook that will teach you how to shop and prepare Spanish cuisine seasonally. This is a soup for late spring, when there is still a bit of a chill in the air. It’s best made with fresh peas
but, since these quickly turn to starch, frozen ones—which keep their sweetness—are a thoroughly
acceptable substitute. Recipe yields 4 servings.
Pea Soup With Serrano Ham & Toast
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 28 ounces shelled peas
- 4 thin slices of white bread
from a small loaf
- 8 thin slices of Serrano ham
- Small bunch of mint, leaves
- Salt and freshly ground
- Extra virgin olive oil,
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over
medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic until soft and golden.
- Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and add the peas. Simmer
for 4 minutes.
- While the stock and peas are simmering, you can start cooking
the bread and ham. Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan
until the oil starts to shimmer. Slide the bread, two slices at a time,
into the oil and cook until golden on both sides. Remove and place
on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat the process with the
ham—you want it crisp and browned. Use more oil if necessary.
- Stir the mint leaves into the soup, then use a hand blender to
process the mixture to a smooth purée. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, make four open sandwiches by laying a slice of ham
onto each slice of toast. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and then, a
bit like launching a paper boat onto a pond, gently float one hamtopped
toast in each bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil over each serving.
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