Tag Archives: ham

Pea and Ham Soup – or The London Particular

This soup was named after the thick London fogs that occurred in the 19th century and were generally referred to as ‘Pea Soupers’.  In Charles Dickens’ ‘Bleak House’, William Guppy remarks to Esther Summerson that the fog is a ‘London Particular’.

Ideally, try to obtain a ham bone with ham still clinging to it for this recipe as the flavour is marvelous.  You will need to go to a proper butcher or delicatessen for this as supermarkets will not sell them to you.  Alternatively you can use bacon or the remains of a cooked gammon ham and use chicken stock instead. 

You will need to start this dish in the morning or evening before you need to serve it.
Also be aware that this soup is Very Filling and is a meal in itself.

To Cook a Ham Bone
Put the ham bone in a pot with enough water to cover it.  Bring it to the boil then simmer for about two hours.  Leave it to cool skimming off the fat.  Remove all the meat from the bone and use the stock for the soup.

Pea Soup or The London Particular


1 x large saucepan
1 x large bowl

1 lb / 480g dried split green peas
EITHER the meat of a ham bone OR 4 rashers of bacon OR an equivalent quantity of gammon
If you’re using ham you will need 2oz / 60g butter
1 large onion – finely sliced
4 pints of a combination of the soaking liquid from the peas, the ham stock or chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Soak the peas in enough cold water to cover them for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight
If using bacon, cook it in a large saucepan until the fat is running out, then add the onion and cook until soft
If using ham, melt the butter in the pan, add the onions and cook until soft
Add the peas and the liquid
Cover the pan and bring to the boil
Skim off any scum and turn down the heat
Add the ham and simmer for two hours
Stir occasionally to stop it sticking
By this time the peas will have turned into a thick, textured puree
Season to taste and add the Worcester Sauce
Serve with good bread or toast


Filed under Food, Recipes, Regional

Chickens and How to Use Them: Day 2 – Risotto

I was unable to photograph my risotto, so what about THIS Italian dish?!

I was unable to photograph my risotto, so what about THIS Italian dish?!

Obviously there are lots of ways to use a leftover chicken; the simple sandwich, a lovely curry, paella, omelettes and so on, but I’m including this recipe because it’s versatile, adaptable and it’s a useful one for our vegementalist friends, as it is equally lovely without the chicken.  The ingredients I have used are the ideal, but if you have only one type of pepper, then use that or if you haven’t any peppers then cut a carrot into matchsticks (Julienne strips) and use that.  If you aren’t using left over chicken, strips of ham make a nice alternative.  The key is to experiment – see what you have in the cupboard and take a risk!



1 Large saucepan or casserole dish which can go on the hob
Chopping board


3tbsp oil
1 medium onion – chopped
½ red pepper – cut into squares – ish
½ green pepper  – cut into squares – ish
½ yellow pepper – cut into squares – ish
3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
3 sticks of celery – ¼”/1cm slices
1 small tin of broad beans or 4oz (120g) frozen peas
12oz (360g) risotto rice or ordinary easy cook long grain rice
6 tbsp white wine
2 pints chicken stock (vegetable stock if you’re veggie) *
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (in our case this is the cold chicken)
1oz (30g) butter
3oz (90g) cheddar cheese – grated


1.       Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat

2.       Add the onion, peppers, celery and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent

3.       Add the rice and cook for 1 minute

4.       Add the wine and cook, stirring until it has all been absorbed

5.       Add the broad beans or peas

6.       Add 3/4 the stock and cook, stirring occasionally until it has all been absorbed.

7.       The keep adding stock, a little at a time until the rice is tender.

8.       When it is at the consistency that you like, take the pan off the heat

9.       Stir in the butter and cheese

10.     Serve on it’s own or with a green salad

This dish can also be eaten cold, so is ideal for a healthy lunch box.

* If you want to use your own stock at this stage, then go ahead.  Otherwise use good quality stock cubes.


Filed under Food, Recipes