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London Particular soup recipe: Vegan MoFo


The next English dish was a completely new one on me, but one I stumbled on when I was trying to work out how best to cook gammon (or in this case, the vegan equivalent: Redwoods' gammon style roast).

Its origins are in the 19th century apparently, when London was subject to thick smogs (it helps if you picture any 1950s film based on a Dickens or Sherlock Holmes novel here - doughty gentlemen in tweed turning their collars up against the weather, and fighting their way through fog-blanketed streets with nothing but a stout cane for company.)

These pollution-filled fogs were known as 'pea soupers' at the time. Another name for them then was London particulars - a name that was then passed on to a thick dish of pea and ham soup. Clever huh?
Without even researching anything, it's the sort of dish that has the social history behind it writ large.

Originally, it was a mixture of cheap vegetables, split peas and the stock you boiled your gammon in - the sort of thing you made because it was cheap, simple, nutritious and kept a large family going for a long time.

It's largely the same ingredients as the pease pudding and roast vegan gammon dish I made earlier for MoFo, rearranged.

To start with, fry off an onion, a rib of celery, and a carrot until soft. Add in a bowlful of pease pudding. (If you've got some non-blended up split peas, so much the better - keep a ladleful to one side.) Add some vegetable stock til you get your desired consistency. Add some chopped up vegan gammon roast (you can blend the soup or have chunks of the roast doing their own thing) and some celery leaves or parsley. And that's it.

It's the sort of soup that should really be eaten in winter, near an open fire or under a blanket, flicking two fingers at the cold.

Serve with crusty bread and the heating on.

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11 comments

  1. I love the origins of the name — not that I wish pea-soup fog on any present day Londoners — but it's just so visual. Your description of how and when to eat the soup is exactly perfect. I must stock up on split peas — the mists are rolling in. :)

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  2. That ham looks frighteningly real!

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  3. I agree with Abby - it looks crazy, especially shredded or cut like that. I am guilty of formerly looooving split pea soup with ham in it. It's fantastic. Almost makes the cold weather worth it.

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  4. Such a great name for a soup - veg gammon seems vaguely disturbing but interesting - and not nearly as disturbing as the idea of walking through this soup :-)

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  6. I love love love love pea soup. We eat it *at least* once a month. Our recipe is very simple as well. Split peas, onion, carrot, celery and a bay leaf. Somehow this produces the most delicious soup!

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  7. The name is new to me but the concept is not. Sounds like pure comfort in a bowl, perfect for the coming autumn days.

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  8. I love split pea soups, they are so comforting in winter months. The vegan ham does look disturbingly real - does it taste like the real deal?

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  9. Split pea soup made a regular occurance in our house and has always been my favorite soup! I've been waiting for winter to hit so I can make it again, it just doesn't feel right eating it in summer.

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  10. Yum! I haven't made pea soup in ages so I'll give yours a whirl...even though it's getting a bit warm here ;)

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