Winter Warmer 5 : Cream of broad bean and Serrano

To make it much simpler and cost effective, we use here frozen broad beans. When it comes to dry cured pork ham, my favorite goes by far to the Spanish version. If you can find some Jamon Iberico, you have to try it at least once. Otherwise, the most commonly found here in Australia is  Jamon Serrano, and it is a treat. Very different texture and flavor than Prosciutto Crudo, the Italian Version. When  buying wine for cooking, you have to use something that is drinkable (not corked,…), but cheap (I mostly use clear skins of Shiraz and dry white wine, around $7 a bottle).


  • 2 x 600g  frozen broad beans
  • 200g streaky bacon rashes
  • 4 thin slices Jamon Serrano
  • 3 small french shallots
  • 6 cloves purple garlic
  • 4 springs thyme or winter savory
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 400ml pure cream
  • 1 l vegetable stock


  1. Put on high heat a large pot with 5 liters of unsalted water. When it boils, pour in the broad beans, and as soon as it is back to boil, drain and cool down with cold running water.
  2. Now comes the tedious work, the peeling of the beans…Called “Derobage” in french ( meanning: undressing). I pinch the skin to tear it, then push gently the bean out of it. You might struggle a few minutes if you haven’t done it before, but you will very quickly get the hang of it.
  3. Peel the shallots, and chop them roughly. Same for the garlic. Chop the bacon too.
  4. Heat a large sauce pan without any oil till very hot. Drop the bacon and stir over high heat till coloured all over. Reduce heat to low and add shallots, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cook till shallot is soft and transparent. Add the white wine and reduce till almost dry.
  5. Add half of the vegetable stock and the cream. Bring to boil on high heat and reduce to let simmer for 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes, remove thyme and bay leaf. Add the peeled broad beans, and bring back to boil.
  6. Take off the heat, and using a stick blender, blend till very smooth. You might want to add a bit more stock if you enjoy you soup thinner. Season with freshly cracked peppercorn and sea salt. Then add the thinely sliced Serrano ham.
  7. You can decorate the bowl by sprinkling finely chopped chive, a few blanched broad beans you kept aside, a drizzle of cream, some Nigella seeds,…
  8. Bon Appetit!

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