Green Pea Soup

A thick and creamy soup from Italy, Green Pea Soup can be served as a first course to a light meal, or as a complete light lunch or dinner with crusty bread and butter.

1 oz. butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 pint chicken stock

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1 lb. green peas, weighed when shelled slices cooked ham, diced

5 fl. oz. single cream

In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and garlic.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.

Pour in the stock. Add the lemon juice, parsley, bay leaf and peas.

Bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the soup, stirring occa-sionally, for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Put the contents of the pan through a food mill into a medium-sized bowl. Rinse the pan and pour the soup back into it.

Return the pan to moderate heat and stir in the ham. Cook, stirring occasion-ally, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and turn the soup into a warmed soup tureen. Serve immediately.