Leave it to mint to withstand one of the hardest winters this gardener has experienced since moving from Michigan to Philly nearly 20 years ago. A winter so miserable, in fact, that it killed off the very thyme first featured in one of POD’s very first posts.
Moment of silence, please.
Thank you — moving on to dinner. Once again, the marvelous Moro comes to the rescue with this quick, easy, bright, meat-light, almost-pantry (in a pinch, the prosciutto could be optional — or you could use bacon or ham, I suppose.)
Sopa de guisantes
Pea Soup with Jamon and Mint
4 tbs olive oil [POD used 2 tbs]
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh [plant a bay plant, easy indoor mascot, so worth it]
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
150g [5 oz] jamon serrano (cured ham), finely chopped [see photo for POD’s version]
1 small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
500 g [just over a pound] podded peas, fresh or frozen [who can find a pound of fresh, in-season peas, ever? Frozen are fine, fresh would surely be divine.]
1 litre chicken stock [appx. 4 c.]
sea salt and black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onion, and when it has turned golden add the carrot and bay leaves. Continue to fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic, two-thirds of the jamon and half the mint. Give everything a good stir, fry for another minute or so, then add the peas. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the stock. Simmer gently until the peas are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Ladle the peas and stock into a food processor or liquidiser [immersion blender, thank you] and process until smooth. Return to the pan, season with salt and pepper and add the remaining mint. Serve with the rest of the jamon on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.