A hint of cream makes this fresh green soup seem delightfully indulgent. The high proportion of peas fills the soup with vitamins and fibre, while a modest amount of lean cooked ham adds protein and depth of flavour. Serve with crusty bread for a satisfying starter or add a sandwich and enjoy it for lunch.
For a more substantial soup, add a generous spoonful of freshly cooked rice or vermicelli to each bowl. * For a split pea soup, use 140 g (5 oz) dried split peas (yellow or green) instead of fresh or frozen peas. Add 125 g (4½ oz) peeled, diced celeriac, ¼ tsp ground cumin and a few shakes of chilli sauce, such as Tabasco, to the vegetables and ham in step 1. Increase the volume of stock to 1.5 litres (2¾ pints), and simmer for 1–1½ hours or until the peas are tender. Omit the lettuce and whipping cream. Purée all the soup until smooth. Add pepper to taste and reheat.
Throughout history garlic has been used to treat everything from athlete's foot to colds and flu. Scientific facts now give credence to the folklore – for example, allicin, the compound that gives garlic its characteristic smell and taste, is known to act as a powerful antibiotic and it also has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. * Peas are a good source of the B vitamins B1 B6, and niacin, and they provide useful amounts of folate and vitamin C. As a good source of soluble fibre, they are useful for anyone with high cholesterol levels.
Excellent source of folate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C. Good source of iron, potassium, zinc. Useful source of calcium, copper, niacin.