Serves 6 - 8
a knuckle of smoked gammon - approx 1-1.3kg
2 sticks of celery
2 large carrots, halved
4 onions, halved
a small handful of thyme
2 bay leaves
12 white peppercorns
1.2kg frozen peas, semi-defrosted
4 tbsp double cream
Place the gammon in a large saucepan with the celery, carrots, onions, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for one and a half hours, skimming off any residue.
Top up with warm water if needed.
Turn off the heat and remove the ham. Carve the meat from the bone, and while still hot, shred with two forks. Retain for later.
Sieve the stock and allow the liquid to cool before chilling in the fridge.
Liquidise the peas with the chilled stock, then pass the purée through a fine sieve. At this stage the soup can be chilled until ready to serve.
Heat the soup in a saucepan, but don't boil or it will lose its vibrant green colour. Lightly season with salt and pepper - remember the ham will be quite salty - then stir in the cream.
Put some ham into the bottom of each bowl and pour over the hot soup. Serve immediately.