I sometimes stir the Tasso in at the end and garnish the soup with mushroom chips. You could also use this recipe to make corn chowder; puree only half of the soup to keep a classic chowder chunkiness. (Keep the mint--corn and mint are fantastic together!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced Tasso ham
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups shelled peas (about 4 pounds in the shells)
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh mint chiffonade
Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the ham and saute until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the butter to the pan and heat just until melted. Add the shallots and sweat them (cook until translucent but not browned; you may need to reduce the heat a little). Add the peas and saute until coated with butter. Add the stock and mint and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Working batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until mostly smooth (you may need to add a little stock to the blender). Transfer to a clean pot and bring back to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, then stir in the cream. Season with salt (keep in mind the ham will add a little salty flavor). Pour into bowls and sprinkle each serving with ham.
About 4 servings.