The London Particular
This soup, made with the bacon stock from Boiled Smoked Bacon, is so named because of the thick, dense 'peasouper' London fogs that were so prevalent during the first half of the last century.
|3½ pints (2 litres) stock from Boiled Smoked Bacon (click on link below for recipe) with added water if needed|
|12 oz (350 g) green or yellow split peas (no need to soak)|
|3 oz (75 g) butter|
|6 oz (175 g) smoked streaky bacon, rinded and diced|
|1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped|
|1 celery stalk, chopped|
|1 large carrot, peeled and sliced|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|2 oz (50 g) crustless white bread cut into 1/3 inch (8 mm) cubes|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a large frying pan, one large saucepan and one medium saucepan.|
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three, The Delia Collection: Soup and The Evening Standard Cookbook.
First strain off 3½ pints (2 litres) bacon stock into a large saucepan and bring just up to simmering point, then add the split peas, stir well and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile heat 1 oz (25 g) of the butter in another saucepan and add 4 oz (110 g) of the bacon along with the prepared vegetables. Cook them over a medium heat until softened and nicely golden – this will take about 15 minutes.
After that the bacon and softened vegetables can be transferred to join the stock and split peas. Then add some salt and freshly milled pepper, put the lid on and simmer very gently for a further 40-50 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a frying pan (without any fat in it) and fry the remaining bacon until it is really crisp, then transfer it to a plate using a draining spoon.
Next add 1 oz (25 g) of the butter to the pan, and as soon as it begins to foam add the cubes of bread and fry these, tossing them around, for about five minutes until they are also nice and crisp.
When the soup is ready, either process it in a food processor or liquidise, then return it to the saucepan. Taste to check the seasoning, adding just a little more of any reserved stock if it seems a little too thick.
Just before serving melt the remaining butter into it, then ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each one with the croutons and crispy bacon bits.
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This may sound like quite a retro kind of dish, but as Delia says, collar of bacon has great flavour... and if you've never tasted traditional pease pudding you're in for a treat!
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