WISEY'S PEA & HAM SOUP
As we endure the final throes of Winter I requested an old favourite, a comforting soup inspired by the fresh produce we obtained at the last Jiggety Jig held in the prime of one of Ballarat's coldest Julys in twenty years. My darling Wisey made his trademark pea and ham soup, perfected over time and bursting with flavour and nutrients.
This recipe is best made slowly in order to develop a truly toothsome stock. Wisey has truly mastered his technique to ensure his soup is a sensation to the tastebuds, but it must be noted that flavour perfection is achieved using a beechwood smoked hock from our local charcutier Sebastian Jurcan from Country Style Smallgoods. The good news is that you can order Sebastian's ham hocks at a price that is as competitive as the supermarket prices but far superior in flavour and freshness. Peas are in season so we recommend using fresh, but frozen will also work well. We used fresh thyme and dried bay leaves from the garden and served it with some buttered Basilio Batard toast.
"Pease" is the Middle English singular and plural form of the word "pea”. Pease pudding was a high-protein low-cost staple made from easily stored dried peas, was an ideal form of food for sailors, particularly boiled in accompaniment with salt pork, the origin of pea and ham soup.
In Poland, pea soup is associated with military, where it remains a popular dish, because pea soup is nutritious and cheap, and can be easily prepared in large quantities. Military pea soup (grochówka wojskowa) is said to have to be thick enough to put a spoon straight up in it.