Protein punch

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In winter, meatless and fishless, West Coast folk turned to pulses for their protein fix. One particular family favourite was pea soup – choc-a-bloc with potassium, protein and fibre. Try this recipe once and you’ll be hooked.

Ingredients for 6 servings: 500 gm dried whole peas; 1 kg meaty ham bones; 2 large carrots coarsely grated; 2 large onions coarsely grated; 1 turnip coarsely grated; 1 bunch chopped soup celery leaves; 1 teaspoon bouquet garni (mixed herbs); 1 bay leaf; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon pepper; optional 500 gm smoked sausage, chopped; 1 litre cold water; 4 litres boiling water.

Method: Cover peas with water and soak overnight. Drain & rinse. Wash the soup bones and place in a large saucepan. Add all grated vegetables. Add peas and cold water. Bring to boiling point. Then add a kettleful of boiling water. Add celery, bouquet garni and bay leaf. Add a kettleful of boiling water each time the soup mixture comes to the boil (2 – 3 times). Add the optional sausage, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. When the soup is thick, add salt and pepper. Serve with chunky slices of fresh bread.

For a German twist: add spätzle-like dumplings – it’s a winner!