We were just hanging out this past Sunday after an early morning basketball game, followed by a big breakfast at an area diner, catching up on some Barefoot Contessa shows we had dvr’d. Her show from the last few weeks has been from Napa Valley, one of our favorite places to visit. During Barefoot in Napa she had stopped by some stores we have visited, cooked with chefs we admire and savored the wine we love. (Can you tell I really want to get back there?) On this particular show we were watching she prepared a Spanish Pea Soup for her husband Jeffrey to heat up while she was off in San Francisco visiting a fish market and some food trucks. (Ah, San Francisco is one of my favorite cities!)

The soup looked so good and relatively easy, and since it was just a day for hanging out and recouping from a wonderful dinner the night before, my hubby set out to prepare this for our dinner. And it was easy! Very few ingredients, no ham bone needed and done in a snap.

Spanish Pea Soup with Crispy Ham


Good olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large shallots)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 pounds frozen peas, such as Bird’s Eye Sweet Garden
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 thin slices Spanish Serrano ham or Italian prosciutto


In a deep (8 x 5-inch) heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chicken stock, frozen peas, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Puree with an immersion blender until coarsely pureed and season to taste. Depending on the saltiness of the stock, it is suggested that you may add up to another teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to give the soup a very bright flavor.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the ham in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 5 to 8 minutes, until crisp.

Reheat the soup and serve in shallow bowls with a slice of crispy ham on top. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve hot.

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