This is a filling enough soup but for a more substantial dish you could poach some eggs and slide them into the soup bowls on serving. Every butcher in Scotland sells ham hocks (or houghs as they are known here) for boiling for stock and if I have planned ahead I use a ham stock in this soup but it is delicious with just a vegetable stock cube. If you have lots of Christmas ham left over you could dice this and use instead of the pulled ham.
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 3 large leeks, washed, trimmed and cut into 1cm rounds
- 280g potatoes, peeled and cut into rough cubes
- 400g frozen petits pois
- 900ml vegetable stock
- 1 small bunch tarragon, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons crème fraiche
- 180g pulled ham hock
- To serve
- Poached eggs and croûtons
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until the leeks are starting to soften. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Take off the heat and cool slightly.
- Stir the tarragon into the soup and liquidize with a hand blender or in a food processor until really smooth. Stir in the crème fraiche and taste and season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir in the ham hock, reserving a little for garnish and re-heat the soup gently but don’t let it boil. Pour into soup bowls and serve with a poached egg and lots of crusty bread.