Sunday, December 11, 2011

Test Kitchen: Hugh Acheson Field Peas, Ham Hock & Mustard Green Soup



Chef Hugh Acheson stopped by the Nate Berkus show to promote his latest book  “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen,”.  He shared with the audience one of the recipes from his new book and it seemed so effortless that I decided to make it at home.

The field pea and ham hock soup is perfect for a cold winter night. Is super easy to do, and best of all is dirt cheap. For the cornbread croutons I kind of cheated and bought a cornbread mix. I added just a hint of honey and cayenne pepper just because I like my cornbread to be a little bit sweet and spicy at the same time. 


Chef Hugh Acheson was named “Best New Chef” by Food and Wine Magazine and has received five consecutive James Beard nominations so rest assured this recipe is something not to be missed. Kiddos really like it and hubby ate two bowls, so thank you so much Hugh for sharing this with us.

This field peas and ham hock soup is officially a keeper at the patch. Woot!!

Now all is left to do is to ask Santa to bring me the cookbook ;D

Field Pea, Ham Hock & Mustard Green Soup
Serves 6 with leftovers

Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 celery stalk, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 smoked ham hock, about 1 pound
2 cups cubed Cornbread (
click HERE for recipe)
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cups chopped mustard greens
1 cup chopped tomato
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil


Directions
Place a 4 to 6 quart soup pot over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic, black-eyed peas, chicken stock, and ham hock.



Cook until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. Skim to remove the airy white bean matter that floats to the top. White the soup is cooking, cut the cornbread into 1/2 by 1/2-inch cubes. In a large cast-iron skilled over medium heat, toast the cubed cornbread in the bacon fat until crisp. If necessary, cook the croutons in batches, making sure to toast all sides. Cool on a large plate.

Remove the ham hock from the soup pot, cool, and take the meat off the bone. Coarsely chop the meat and return it to the pot. Discard the bone and any connective tissue.
Add the thyme, mustard greens, tomato, and salt to the soup. Cook for 10 more minutes and then portion the bowls for serving. Drizzle each bowl with a couple drops of cider vinegar and a dash of olive oil, garnish with the cornbread croutons, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Hugh Acheson, "A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen,"2011.



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