Smoked Gammon and Split Pea Stew

By Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 400g green split peas, picked through, small stones discarded
  • 250g almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into bitsized pieces
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into bitsized pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-5 springs each marjoram and thyme
  • 2 liters vegetable stock
  • 900g smoked gammon, sliced and cut into cubes
  • 100g bacon cubes
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Put the split peas in a bowl, cover with water and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and parsnip and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften - this should take about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the split peas and add them to the pot. Add the bay leaf, herbs, broth and approx. 800g of the gammon cubes. Give it a good stir, bringing the liquid to a boil over high heat. Make sure you stir regular to keep the peas from sticking to the bottom and scorching. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for a good hour / hour and half or until the split peas are are soft and have broken down and the soup is thickened considerably. If you find it too thick just add some water or stock if available.
  4. While the soup is simmering heat a non-stick frying pan on high heat. Add the bacon cubes and fry until the fat is released, then add the remaining 100g gammon cubes. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar to allow the bacon and gammon to caramelize in their own fat. Stir to keep form sticking to pan.
  5. Taste the stew and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  6. To serve, ladle the stew into bowls, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with bacon and gammon, a few pumpkin seeds and scatter with chopped parsley

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