Country Pea Soup with Smoked Ham and Apple Sautéed Muffins




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2 cans (11-1/4 ounces each) condensed pea soup
2-1/2 cups water
2 cups frozen peas
3 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
4 ounces sliced Jarlsberg cheese
4 BAYS English Muffins, split
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 pound sliced smoked ham


Combine pea soup, water and frozen peas in a saucepan. Cookover medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soup just comes to a boil. Stir in spinach; remove from heat. Ladle half of soup into blender container; add 2 tablespoons of sour cream and half of the chopped mint. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into serving tureen or individual bowls. Repeat with remaining soup, sour cream and mint. Garnish with additional sour cream and mint sprigs, if desired.

Lightly toast muffin halves; arrange sliced cheese on top. Melt butter, brown sugar and dry mustard in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly to combine. Add apples and sauté until just tender. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. Add sliced ham and toss with pan drippings until heated. Lift slices onto muffin halves; top with apple slices. Serve warm with soup.


4 (1-1/2 cups each)

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