For Stock 2 Large carrots 2 Sticks of celery 2 Onions 5 Whole black peppercorns 3 Bay leaves Small bunch of thyme 1 Sprig of rosemary 2 Bacon hocks
For Soup 2 Garlic whole bulbs 1 Medium chopped onion 1kg Bag of frozen peas Handful of fresh mint 1ltr home made stock 1.5 Handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan
Stock Chop the carrots and the celery sticks in half and the onions into quarters, add to a large pan with the peppercorns, herbs, bacon hocks and a tsp. of rock salt. Add enough cold water to cover all the ingredients and bring to the boil. When boiling turn down to a low heat and leave for 2 hours, skimming off any scum that may have come to the top every 30 mins. Remove the stock from the heat and leave to cool completely with all the ingredients still in the pan. When cooled strain off the liquid into a clean bowl, set the hocks to one side and discard the rest of the ingredient (having said this I always end up munching on the carrots and the celery, they taste delicious after they have been sitting in the stock!). Discard the skin and the fat from the hocks and set aside small chunks of the meat to add to the soup after it's been blended. This recipe will produce about 1.5lt of stock, use 1lt in the soup and freeze the rest for up to three months, adds wonderful flavor to gravy!
Soup Heat the oven to 200°c/ Gas 6. douse the whole garlic bulbs with olive, wrap in tin foil, and bake for 45mins - 1 hour. You can do this way before time if you like and just leave it wrapped up in the fridge for up to two days until your ready to make the soup.
Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about five minutes until they become translucent. Don't let them catch or brown. Take both garlic bulbs and squeeze out the garlic paste into the pan being carful not to get any of the skin in the mix. Add the bag of frozen peas and mint leaves and give it a stir before pouring over the stock and bringing to the boil.
Simmer for 30 minutes before blending. Return your soup to the pan after blending check the seasoning and stir in the Parmesan and reserved meat from the bacon hock before serving with a dollop of sour cream.