Pea soup with bacon

Serves 4
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25g/1oz unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
150ml/5fl oz white wine
600g/1lb 4oz shelled peas
750ml/24fl oz chicken stock
Sea salt, black pepper
1 teaspoon caster sugar
8 rashers rindless unsmoked streaky bacon, each cut into 2 long strips lengthwise
10 good-sized basil leaves
Chopped flat-leaf parsley

25g/1oz unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
150ml/5fl oz white wine
600g/1lb 4oz shelled peas
750ml/24fl oz chicken stock
Sea salt, black pepper
1 teaspoon caster sugar
8 rashers rindless unsmoked streaky bacon, each cut into 2 long strips lengthwise
10 good-sized basil leaves
Chopped flat-leaf parsley

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, and sweat for several minutes until it is translucent and soft. Add the wine and cook until it is syrupy. Add the peas and stir, then add the stock, the seasoning and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes.

While simmering the soup, heat the grill and lay the bacon strips out on the grid of a grill pan. Grill until golden and crisp on both sides. Pile on to a plate.

Place the soup with the basil leaves in a food processor and purée, then adjust the seasoning - it may well need more salt. I like a slight texture to this soup, but if you prefer it completely smooth you can liquidise it in a blender, and if necessary pass it through a sieve. Return to the saucepan, on a low heat, re-warm and serve scattered with parsley and accompanied by the bacon strips.

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