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Green Pea & Green Chile Soup with Crisp Serrano Ham & Mint-Cumin Crema

Serves: 4

Roasted Poblano Puree
2 poblano chiles
2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place poblano chiles on a baking sheet, rub with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chiles until slightly charred and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove, let cool slightly, remove skin and seeds and coarsely chop.
2. Place the poblanos in a food processor and process until smooth.

Mint-Cumin Crema
½ cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons toasted and ground cumin seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. 

Crispy Serrano Ham
¼ cup pure olive oil
8 slices thinly sliced serrano ham

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Carefully add 2 slices of the ham at a time and cook until crispy on both sides. Remove to a plate line with paper towels. 

4 cups enriched chicken stock (page TK)
1 ham hock
2 cups frozen or fresh peas
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons toasted and ground cumin seeds
Poblano puree
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons crème fraiche
Cilantro or parsley leaves

1. Combine stock and ham hock in medium saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the ham hock and add the peas, salt and cumin and cook until the peas are very soft, 15-20 minutes. 
2. Using a slotted spoon, place the peas in a blender with 2 cups of the stock and blend until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add additional stock ¼ cup at a time. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the poblano puree and the crème fraiche and cook until heated through.
3. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, drizzle with the cumin crème fraiche and top with 2 slices of the crisp serrano ham; garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley leaves. 

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