Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fresh Peas & Spinach Soup

My sister gave me a recipe for fresh pea soup with spinach, and I changed it just a bit to punch it up.  I thought I would share the recipe here for anyone that would like it, along with photos (sorry, I haven't bought a flip yet so no video, for now).  It really ended up quite good and I am sure that it will even better tomorrow.

The recipe is as follows:

1-2 ham hocks
1 16 oz package of diced ham (optional if you are not ready for meats yet)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
24 oz fresh or frozen green peas
1 10 oz package fresh baby spinach
3 cups of chicken broth
3 cups of water
1/4 tsp salt (optional if you are using low-sodium broth)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 T. bacon fat (optional)

In a large dutch oven, brown the ham hocks (on medium) in 2 T. olive oil.  I used two ham hocks but one is sufficient.

When browned on all sides, remove and set aside.  Add onion and 1 T bacon fat to pot.  Cook until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.

 Add chicken broth and water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Now add the peas.  You can add them frozen if you wish.  Cook until peas are thawed--it won't take very long--about 5 minutes.  After peas are thawed and broth is bubbly, add spinach. You want to cook until the spinach is wilted but still bright green:

Strain the soup, keeping the liquid aside.  Take the pea/spinach mixture and puree in a blender or food processor. 

Add puree back into dutch oven.  Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne.  You may now add as much of the saved liquid as you like back in to bring the soup to a texture you like.  Add the ham hocks back at this time.

You may also add the diced ham.  Simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

DELICIOUS!  A very good, smoky flavor--excellent texture....and great if you've been put on full liquids or purees.  If you've been moved on to small meats, you can use the diced ham, you'll love it!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

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