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Fresh Pea Soup with Ham
© Chris Court

Fresh Pea Soup with Ham

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This play on split pea soup gets its vibrant flavor from fresh peas and fennel. The garnish, ham with baby greens and chives, adds a bit of elegance.

Slideshow: More Pea Recipes

  1. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. 1 small fennel bulb—thick stalk discarded, bulb thinly sliced
  3. 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  5. Kosher salt
  6. 1 quart whole milk
  7. 4 cups fresh or frozen peas (1 pound), thawed
  8. 1/2 cup diced smoked ham hock (from one 11-ounce ham hock) or smoky ham
  9. 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  10. 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives
  11. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  12. 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  13. Pea tendrils or baby arugula, for garnish
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Strain it through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Season with salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ham with the shallot, chives, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Spoon the ham salad into the center of 4 bowls. Ladle the warm soup into the bowls, garnish with the pea tendrils and serve immediately.