Pea Soup that Doesn’t Suck

Yes, it’s true!  Indeed Split Pea soup was a symbol of great consternation in my day.  Maybe because it was a vomitorium like this:

So, given a chance to eat more pea soup – I was scared.  Could it be?  Well, following Jamie Oliver’s recipe:

INGREDIENTS
½ loaf stale white bread
extra virgin olive oil
1 large handful of fresh mint, leaves picked
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 slices of thin pancetta or bacon
1 bunch of scallions, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
2 pats of butter
1 lb 2 ounce frozen peas
2 pints chicken stock
7 tablespoons heavy cream
4 teaspoons sour cream
DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 350 degree F. Take the crusts off the bread and pinch off irregular dice-size pieces. Put these into a roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil, scatter over some of the mint leaves and season. Drape you pancetta over the top and cook until bread and pancetta are crunchy and golden-around 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium to large saucepan, slowly fry the scallions and remaining mint in butter for about 3 minutes, or until soft. Turn the heat up, add your frozen peas and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat, add the heavy cream and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
The next thing is to puree the soup until it’s very smooth (you may want to do this batches). Correct the seasoning very carefully to taste-really think about this bit and get it just right. Remember: add, taste, add, taste. By this time your bread and pancetta should be nice and crisp, ladle the soup into your demi-tasse cups sprinkle over your brad, mint leaves and pancetta. Add a little sour cream and drizzle with some peppery extra virgin olive oil.

What can I say?  The roasted pancetta/bread turn into these super salty wonderful croutons.  With the soup added with the sour cream – it emerges as a very smooth, light meal.  I mean look at this – we did not even screw it up!

Not icky!! See??

Take this, add the perfect sweet and salty desserty side, and mmm …

Prosciutto = perfect
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