Pea Soup With Crisp Prosciutto

"A quick to prepare, low-fat and delicious soup adapted from a recipe in the July 2008 issue of the 'Australian Table' magazine. Not as green as its recipe sibling - Recipe #135165 - this is basically a pea-ified version (if I can be allowed to coin that word) of a classic potato and leek soup, which is what drew me to the recipe. Potato and leek soups have always been a favourite of mine, one of those really safe, classic, always delicious combinations, and always SO much better if a home-made stock is used. The original version of this recipe specified 5 minutes preparation time. Such times are clearly determined on the assumption that all the ingredients are magically ready to go. My guess is that it would take me 5 minutes just to wash and chop the leeks, so I've increased the preparation time to 10 minutes. That still makes this a quick to prepare recipe. For a vegetarian version use a vegetable stock, such as my Recipe #135453 which makes productive use of all your vegetable peelings, and omit the prosciutto."
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  • Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and cook the leeks for 5 minutes, stirring until they have softened; add the potatoes, garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes; add the stock and bring to the boil over a high heat; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes; add the peas and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  • Puree with a hand blender until the soup is smooth. If you like a bit of chunkiness in your soups, take out a portion of the soup before pureeing, then return it to the pot after you've finished pureeing the bulk of the soup.
  • Meanwhile, place the prosciutto on a baking tray and cook it under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes each side, until crisp.
  • Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and serve it in bowls with prosciutto and crispy rolls.
  • TIP: If you're a microwave rather than a grill user, or your grill is a bit dodgy, you may prefer to cook your prosciutto in a single layer between 2 double sheets of kitchen paper for a couple of minutes in the microwave. Because microwaves vary so enormously in heat, if using this option, err on the side of caution and just cook the prosciutto for a minute to start with.and then perhaps for an extra 30 seconds at a time until the prosciutto is how you want it. It's too delicious to waste. Not quite as crisp as grilled, but a useful alternative. Apologies if this is a method you've known for years! It's a useful tip if you're unfamiliar with it.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Maito
    A simple, but good comforting soup. I only needed to crisp 2-3 slices of prosciutto to top these. This served three as a main course.
  2. justcallmetoni
    Even in the summer, I love warm soups and look for recipes that are simple and healthy. I really enjoyed the "fresh" flavor the frozen peas offered in this comfort meal and will certainly try this again. The proscuitto was a great addition. My biggest adjustment would be to change the ratio of peas to potatoes, as I found the later overwhelmed the flavors.
  3. susie cooks
    This is delicious! Very easy and quick. I made half the recipe using 2 small potatoes. But I had to use the full amount of proscuitto. I snacked on a few slices while the soup was simmering. Crispy proscuitto is fantastic. The leeks really add a nice, subtle flavor. Usually when I make pea soup I serve it with sliced french bread that I toast and then melt a little swiss cheese on top. I bet these would taste good with this soup. Great recipe!


July 2008 update: VERY happy to be back on Zaar after about a two year absence due to having had no internet connection at home, and having been too unwell for a time so that getting re-connected wasn't even a priority! <br> <br>And really looking forward to getting back into the Zaar world and connecting again with the many wonderful people I knew before, and new people, of course!
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