Pea and ham soup is a traditional, inexpensive, simple to make, comfort food for the family that has been passed down though the generations and is a firm favourite in HoniesKitchen!
You can adapt this recipe and the measurements to suit yourself. I used to cook the spilt peas by the long method (soaking overnight and then cooking with the ham) but if you want this soup the day you promised it – the quick-soak method is just as tasty!
A ham bone, hock or bacon joint can be used in this soup. You can get this from any decent butcher or supermarket with a good butcher’s counter – I got mine from Sainsbury’s.
I choose to buy the ham on the bone for several reasons, but each is as important as the next.
- Firstly, it’s not expensive and when pea and ham soup becomes expensive it, for me, takes away a certain special something about being able to feed your family this kind of comfort food that has been passed n for generations and is accessible to all.
- Secondly, you can get a lot of ham on the bone and it comes of in substantial chunks that make home made pea and ham soup the rustic, no fuss dish that it is.
- My third and final reason is that you know the ham is good to go when it is so tender that it falls off the bone – this is the best measure of time you are going to get!
Serves about 6.
1 box quick cook green split peas or 250g of green split peas
1 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, stalks finely chopped (discard leaves)
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 meaty ham bone or ham hock (approx 500g)
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 litre of chicken stock
Salt, to taste
If you are soaking the peas over night then first rinse them and put the peas in a bowl, covering them completely with plenty of cold water. After soaking, drain and rinse the peas and put to one side to cook when the ham is cooked and ready.
If doing the quick soak method then follow the pack instructions using approx 500ml of water and taking 2 hours to soak. Drain and put to one side to add to ham later.
The peas themselves only need 20 mins to cook after this so you could be preparing the ham while doing the quick soak method.
Place the ham on the bone in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Then allow to simmer for at least an hour, until the meat falls from the bone.
Prepare the vegetables as above.
Remove the bone teasing any ham left with a fork.
Add the vegetables, garlic and the soaked peas to the liquid and cook for a further 30 minutes adding salt and pepper to taste.
If you find that the soup has too many large pieces of ham, then give a few whizzes with a hand held blender to break down a little – or if you are serving to small children then give it a thorough whizz with the blender.
Serve with warm, crusty bread and butter