I think a really low maintenance and great starter for Christmas day is soup. It can be made up to 3 months in advance and frozen or be kept for 48 hours in the fridge. I love the little pieces of pancetta on top, it's my take on pea and ham soup.
400g frozen petite pois peas
1 large red onion peeled and sliced
2-3 mints sprigs
300ml of chicken or vegetable stock (I use Knorr stock pots)
1 very large potato (or 2 med) peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic
knob of butter
150g cubed pancetta
50ml double cream
salt & pepper
Start by heating the oil and butter over a gently heat, once the butter has melted and begins to bubble add the sliced onion and grate in the garlic cloves. Stir until translucent, add the potato slices cook until they start to soften but not colour.
Add the peas and stock, simmer for about 15 minutes. Now strip the mint leaves and chop into small pieces, add to the pan, season and cook for 5 minutes more.
At this point I leave to chill completely before blitzing in my Nutribullet I've found this way of blending is the best, it gives the most amazingly smooth finish. A handheld blitzer or a food processor will work if you don't own a Nutribullet.
Pour back into the pan to reheat, cook the pancetta in a frying pan until nice and crispy, with a slotted spoon place onto some kitchen paper to drain.
Swirl the cream into the pan, taste adjust the seasoning if need, pour into bowls and top with the pancetta to serve.
*Freeze after cooling and blitzing. Then just reheat and add the cream to serve.