I was down in the Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford last week and I have to admit before I left I wasn’t even sure where it was. I associate Wexford with Rosslare and getting the boat to France each summer, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hook Peninsula is a lovely place with lots to do and see. I especially loved Hook lighthouse – the oldest lighthouse in Europe no less.
The peninsula kind of feels like an island because it’s fairly small with views of the sea to three sides. I stayed in the fancy Dunbrody Country House Hotel which is owned by Kevin Dundon off the telly, taking in a cookery demonstration which I particularly enjoyed. It was delivered by the very friendly and entertaining Edward Hayden.
The demonstration covered Pea and Smoked Bacon Soup, Multi-seed Scones, Stuffed Pork in Cider and Wholegrain Mustard Gravy and Summer Berry Meringue. Naturally he made it look ridiculously easy but that was to be expected I suppose. I got to sample each dish and all were very delicious. I heartily recommend a visit to Dunbrody and a cookery class from this chap. Check out the gardens too, they are especially beautiful.
Here is the recipe for the soup he made. The mint is key here, adding a really cleansing summer flavour.
Pea and Smoked Bacon Soup
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium sized potato, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 75g smoked bacon
- 450g frozen peas
- 700ml chicken stock
- 110ml cream
- Add a drizzle of oil to a saucepan and saute the chopped onion, bacon, garlic and potato until lightly browned
- Add in the frozen peas to the pot and mix until they have defrosted. Add a pinch of salt and a crack of pepper at this stage.
- Next pour in the chicken stock and cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the peas have softened, yet still retain their colour.
- Transfer to a food processor and blitz in batches until the soup is smooth. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan, check the seasoning and reheat gently.