This is a totally scrummy, totally frugal but fairly fatty recipe that was given to me by my neighbour. She tells me that its a “scouse” tradition and reminds her of her childhood. It all came about on Christmas Eve.I play in a local orchestra, and every Christmas Eve a few of us go down to the local pub to play carols to raise money for charity. We are accompanied of course by a pub FULL of lovely happy people who have been drinking for several hours already. When I say full i mean FULL!!! can’t move, can barely breathe, try not to hit a child on the head with your violin bow because she is sat by your feet kind of full (sorry!!)
It is great fun though and everyone has a great time. It really makes Christmas feel like Christmas! This year, we mentioned it to our neighbours, who of course were up for some merriment and so joined us for the carols and a couple of drinks afterwards. Being good sensible people, we of course left the pub about 9pm, to get a good nights sleep, ready for Father Christmas to come the next morning. Except, instead of going home, we decided to go to visit our neighbours for some wine and some of the best tasting soup I’ve ever eaten! I wasn’t feeling so bright on Christmas morning, but that was definitely the wine, not the soup!
The recipe goes a little something like this…
- 1 uncooked Gammon (unsmoked) or ham-hock
- 2 brown / white onions (diced
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 250g (ish) of yellow split peas
- 50(ish) red lentils
- Ground black pepper
Put the gammon / ham in a very large pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 45 mins to an hour (I allow about 20 mins per lb / 450g total cooking time, this should be about half-way through)
Put the split peas and lentils in a bowl and cover with water (this is as much soaking as mine ever get!)
After the first 45-60mins of the gammon / ham simmering, put the gammon on a plate, tip the water in the pan away, rinse the pan (no need to scrub it just swill it round with water) and put the gammon/ham back into the pan
Put the diced onion, diced carrots and the peas and lentils into the pan and top up with water until the gammon is covered again.
After about another 45mins – 1hour, the gammon / ham should be cooked. Carefully remove this from the broth (taking care to remove any bits of lentil or carrot / onion that are sticking to it and put it to one side to cool slightly.
Cut some thick (about 1cm thick) slices from the gammon / ham and cut these into 1cm (ish) cubes and add these to the broth. Do as much or as little as you like – I like a good few slices, but leave enough to have ham sandwiches with too!
Simmer the soup for a bit longer (it should pretty much be ready at this stage anyway). If it is a bit thick, add a bit of water to thin. If it is a bit thin, simmer for a bit longer.
Thats it really, eat with some crusty bread / ham or cheese sandwiches…or on its own, its surprisingly filling!
(Next Time I make it I’ll take a picture I promise!!! 🙂 )