How to make it

  • • Clean and peel the asparagus, except the tips, and cut into sections about 2" long. Blanch briefly in boiling, salted water, drain and shock in ice water to keep the colour bright.
  • • Shell the peas. Peel the onions (blanching them quickly will make this easy).
  • • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, add the onions and peas and let them sweat for a few minutes.
  • • Add just under 2 cups water (a decilitre in the original), salt and pepper to taste, and cover. Simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.
  • • At the end of that time, add the ham and asparagus, stir and continue to cook 5 minutes or so until the ham and asparagus are hot.
  • • Serve with good French bread, or over rice or noodles.
  • • A squeeze of lemon juice before serving is optional.
  • This can be prepared in advance and reheated.

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