Nigella Lawson writes in How to be a Domestic Goddess that winter has its compensations, most of them culinary.
You have it in one Nigella.
The stuff I most like to cook and most like to eat is stuff that is winter fare : soups, stews, roasts and pudding.
Although it's winter, we still plough on with swimming club on Friday nights- yes, I know, nuts.
Friday nights is therefore designated soup night around here, the reason being it's warm and filling without weighing down the swimmers.
This is Pea and Ham soup made in 15 minutes in my trusty pressure cooker. It is improved from your normal run-of-the-mill by the inclusion of garlic, ginger, chili and lemon juice. Come to think of it, for me there is not a legume soup that doesn't benefit from the judicious squeeze of a lemon.
Here's the recipe:
Pea and Ham soup
500g split yellow peas
1 ham hock
2 garlic cloves finely minced
a knob of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1. Gently sweat ginger and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the chili flakes
2. Tip in split peas and ham hock. Cover with water.
3. Bring to low pressure over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes, then take off the heat to release pressure.
4. Open the cooker. Remove the hock and take meat from the bones, and finely chop. Return to the soup. Add a bit more water if needed. Bring back up to heat over medium heat.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and the juice of half a lemon.