Immune-boosting winter recipe
Many people are drawn to warming, 'comfort' foods in winter. Fortunately, there are plenty of winter-friendly recipes that are healthy and delicious! Making healthy food choices that meet your recommended intakes of protein, antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, is important to keep you well in the colder months.
Think slow-cooked stews with delicious seasonal veggies, nutrient-dense soups and bone-broth based dishes. Soups, in particular, are simple to prepare and can pack an immune-boosting punch. Just be sure to choose a recipe that is high in protein and fibre. Our friends at Live life Foods have kindly shared their popular Split Pea and Ham Soup recipe with us. It's high in soluble fibre that can be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels, and contains protein and a range of plant-based nutrients.
A good pea and ham soup can be as simple as split peas simmered with just the ham bone, or as rich as this recipe I love The pork hocks give the soup a gelatinous texture and a moreish smokiness – keeping the pieces chunky for added texture and the refreshing hint of mint to finish.
John Casey, General Manager, Live Life Foods.
- 500 -700g ham hock
- 200g split peas, soaked over night
- 2 onions, diced into 1cm cubes
- 2 carrots, diced into 1cm cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 celery stick, diced into 1cm cubes
- 300g frozen peas
- 6 peppercorns
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche
- Mint leaves, to garnish
Place ham in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and the remove from heat, draining off the water to remove the saltiness from the ham.
Refill pot with 2L of cold water and bring to the boil. Add split peas, onions, carrot, bay leaves and celery. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours, or until the ham is tender enough to break into shreds, making sure the meat is constantly submerged while cooking. Keep an eye on the liquid and top up water as required.
Once ready, remove the ham and peel off the skin. Discard. Shred the meat while still hot and set aside.
Remove the bay leaves from the soup and stir through frozen peas. Simmer for 1 minute.
Blend the soup until smooth and stir in ¾ of the ham until heated through.
Spoon hot soup into bowls and top with remaining ham. Add a dollop of crème fraiche and garnish with torn mint leaves.