“Soup is such a wonderfully versatile dish. This recipe makes the most of seasonal broad beans, which taste fantastic when teamed up with gammon. We’ve used unsmoked gammon here, but you could also use smoked for a deeper flavour. Mint adds a layer of fresh, bright zing that’s perfect for summer. There’s no need to use a blender, as the soup is meant to be chunky. ”
Split the bean pods and remove all the beans to a bowl. Put aside and keep for later.
Peel the carrot and onion. Trim the leek, split it down the centre, then rinse well. Slice it, then dice the carrot and onion.
Measure out 2 tablespoons of oil into a large saucepan. Place the pan on a medium heat, add the chopped vegetables and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
Crush the cloves of garlic using a garlic press (no need to peel), then add to the pan with the bay leaves, stir, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Chop the gammon into 1cm cubes and add it to the pan with the softened vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally so it cooks nice and evenly.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and let everything bubble away gently for about 15 minutes, or until the gammon is tender and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Pick the mint leaves, tearing up any larger ones, then stir into the soup with the beans. Cook everything for few more minutes, or until the beans are just tender. Ladle into bowls, add a pinch of black pepper, if you like, and serve with crusty bread for dunking.
Tip: If you want to make this soup meat-free, use vegetable stock and leave out the gammon, instead stirring through crumbled feta at the end.