As the leaves fall to the ground and the wind blows colder, we start to long for comfort; trading in nights spent stumbling around the pubs and clubs in an inebriated state for being snuggled under a blanket in front of the fire with a good book. The same applies with food. Goodbye delicate, artisan dishes and other tasty morsels intended to tantalise the palate, hello soups, stews pies and puddings.

This is a recipe I made on a whim last year to use up some leftover ham from a Christmas party. My flatmate loved it so much I decided to make it again to a slightly more exact recipe.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

400g Garden peas (drained)

300g Petit pois (drained)

300ml Vegetable stock

250g Diced ham

1 Large red chilli  (finely chopped)

4 tbsp. Creme Frâiche

1 tbsp. Mint sauce

1 tsp. of Marjoram (dried)

1 tsp. of Sage (dried)

1/2 a tsp. of Thyme (dried)

Salt and pepper to taste

This can either be prepared in a slow cooker or a decent sized saucepan. I opted for the slow cooker this time around, because it shortens cooking time by around 10 minutes.

First, set your slow cooker or hob on relatively high, and add the peas, chopped chilli, mint sauce and the dried herbs. stir gently for 30 seconds before slowly adding in the stock, stirring all the time. When all the stock is in, leave to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring infrequently. If cooking on the hob, you may need to turn the heat down to ensure you don’t boil over.

After you have finished simmering the peas, stir in the creme frâiche. You will need either a food processor or a hand blender for this next part. I used a blender attachment in my food processor as I found it gave a smoother consistency, but using a hand bender will still yield delicious results. Transfer the mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth. Then transfer back to the pan/slow cooker and add the ham. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for a further 5-6 minutes.

Serve with a spoonful of creme frâiche stirred in and some crusty bread.

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