Pea and Ham Broth

A recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Most of us have a packet of frozen peas in our freezer.  They are useful for using as a side dish and in soups, risottos and braised dishes.  This soup is startingly simple and fast.  Home-made stock makes it even tastier, but you can just as easily use a good-quality organic chicken or vegetable stock cube or powder.

Serves : 2  –  Quick and Easy – ready to eat in 10 minutes 🙂

Pea and Ham broth

  1. Heat 1 tblsp olive oil in a saucepan and add 70g (2 ¼ oz) cubed pancetta, a crushed clove of garlic and two chopped stalks of celery.
  2. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the pancetta is starting to colour and crisp and the celery softens.
  3. Add 750ml (24 fl oz) of boiling chicken or vegetable stock or boiling water with a stock cube.
  4. Add 300g (10oz) of frozen peas (straight from the packet) and 3 chopped spinach or chard leaves, and return the broth to the boil.
  5. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes, or until the peas are tender.
  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Serve immediately.

Parma Ham and Tomato Tart

Serves 4; Cals per portion: 545

Ingredients: 225g (8oz) short-crust pastry; 30ml (2 tbsp) finely grated parmesan cheese; 175mg (6oz) Parma ham; 4 large plum tomatoes; 50g (2oz) pine nuts; 45m (3 tblsp) olive oil.

  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry thinly and sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese over the top. Roll over the pastry with a rolling pin to press the cheese into the pastry. Use the pastry to line a 23cm (9in) fluted flan tin then prick all over with a fork.
  • Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans (or dried pulses). Bake blind at 200oC, 400oF, Gas 6 for 20 mins. Remove the lining and the beans and bake for a further 5-10 mins until the pastry case is crisp and golden. Leave to cool.
  • Fill the cooled pastry case with the strips of Parma ham, tomato wedges and pine nuts. Drizzle with 30ml (2tblsp) of the olive oil and place under a pre-heated moderate grill for 5-10 mins until the tomatoes begin to soften slightly.

Cheesy Ham Flan

Serves: 4; Prep: 20 mins: Cook: 30 min: Calories per portion: 618

This crisp pastry case with a rich and cheesy filling is perfect for a family lunch.

Ingredients: 8oz/225g short-crust pastry; 1 tblsp/15ml oil; 1 leek, washed and sliced; 1oz/25g butter; 1oz/25g plain flour; 1 tsp/5ml mustard; 3/4pt/450ml milk; salt and pepper; 4oz/125g cheddar cheese; 6oz/175g lean ham, chopped; 1 tbsp/15ml white breadcrumbs; 8in/20cm flan dish

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 4 / 350oF / 180oC. Grease the flan dish. Roll out the pastry, line the dish and trim pastry.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and fry the sliced leek for a few minutes, until it begins to soften.
  • Melt butter in a pan, stir in flour and mustard and cook for 1 minute. Add milk, beating thoroughly between each addition to remove lumps. Season to taste. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in 3oz/75g of the cheese. Mix the leeks and ham into the sauce and pour into flan. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until pastry is golden. Serve with vegetables.