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London Particular

It's a long time since London was blanketed regularly in thick fogs known as 'pea-soupers. But that's how this gloriously green soup got its delightful name! and it's still a dish that's perfectly designed to keep out the chill on a misty autumn evening.

ingredients

serves 8 (as a starter)
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) streaky bacon rashers, rinded and chopped
1 medium onion, skinned and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, chopped
450 g (1 lb) split dried peas
2.3 litres (4 pints) chicken or ham stock
salt and pepper
60 ml (4 tbsp) natural yogurt
chopped grilled bacon and croutons, to garnish

method

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the bacon, onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, until beginning to soften.

2. Add the peas and stock and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour, until the peas are soft.

3. Allow to cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4. Return the soup to the pan. Season to taste, add the yogurt and reheat gently.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped grilled bacon and croutons.

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