I honestly don't think I'd have married my husband if he couldn't cook (let alone do laundry) it would completely alter the way our relationship worked. You see, he picked me up the day I was diagnosed. He helps every day to ensure I don't ingest gluten, whether it be by using 3knives to put the peanut butter on his toast (from his toaster), or double checking the ham at the deli is gluten free when I simply cannot be bothered and keep walking on, 'I can do without it anyway'. He is amazingly supportive and he absolutely loves to cook things slowly, last Friday morning he asked what I'd like for dinner. My response? 'Something warm. No salad' << See that right there? That is why (well, one of the 'whys') I love this man, he knows that I'd much prefer to veg out on a Friday night at home after a week at work and catching up on Gluten Free Scallywag emails rather than whip up dinner. After all, I'd done dinner during the week. Ok, except Monday, he did his awesome Chicken Pesto Pasta on Monday.
Before I'd even walked into the front of our building I was hoping the lovely aromas drifting through the front door were from our apartment. Inserting my blue key into our door and sure enough those rich aromas were indeed from our little kitchen; slow cooked lamb shanks with green beans, peas & creamy mashed potato (that mash would be on the list of why I married him by the way - amazing!). An hour later, glass of red wine in hand and still writing notes for this years Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine, I took my first bite of those lamb shanks 'Delicious!' I exclaimed. 'Well they'd better be, they've been cooking since 1o'clock (it was now 7.30pm.)
Unfortunately, I'm not sharing that recipe here today but one of his favourite winter time soups; Pea & Ham.Which he has always loved:
' I always worked in the garden or shed with Dad and would get the call to come in for lunch to find that Mum had made a massive pot of pea & ham soup with crunchy buttery croutons. I think 2 or 3 bowls later and I was in heaven. '
So, it is with a love of slow cooking both naturally and altered to gluten free that I share my man's recipe for Pea & Ham Soup. If you want to try more of my man's recipes check out his Pork Rack in last Christmas Gluten Free Scallywag and don't forget our Engagement Mustard Crusted Roast Lamb. Oh, and if you want that lamb shanks recipe yell out on facebook and I'll get him back on the blog!
David's Pea & Ham Soup
Serves 6; Start this recipe a day ahead
300g dried green split peas, soaked in a large bowl of cold water overnight, rinsed & drained
2 brown onions, finely chopped
2 celery pieces, washed and chopped into 5mm slices
2 medium carrots, peels and chopped into 1cm rounds
1L gluten free vegetable stock
1kg ham hock, fat scored
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1tsp fresh thyme
In a large heavy based pot (we used our beloved 28cm le creuset) place the first seven ingredients plus 1litre cold water to the boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer with the lid on. Simmer on low for approximately 1.5hours. Skimming the impurities from the surface every half hour or so.
Remove lid and simmer for a further 30minutes, adding the fresh herbs in the last ten minutes.
Remove the ham hock and allow to cool slightly before stripping the meat away from the bone and set aside, discarding the bone.
At this stage you have two options, you can either whizz the soup stock and 60% of the hock meat in a blender until smooth and throw in the remaining hock meat in chunks to serve or you can keep the soup stock 'clear' (or un blended) with the hock meat simply returned to the pan. I recommend adding a cup of frozen peas and cooking for a further 10minutes if leaving 'clear' which is how it's shown in the above recipes.
Add pepper and salt as you wish, although definitely taste the soup first as the hock and vegetable stock can impart plenty of salt without needing to add it.
Serve piping hot with hot buttered gluten free toast.
Will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3days, or the blended soup would be suitable to freeze. Use within one month, defrosting in the fridge before reheating.