Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pea and Ham Soup

A cupcake can be like a kiss on the cheek from your son. A cookie can be like a high-five from your best friend. A bowl of chilli can be like a belly laugh with the person you love. This soup is like a big, long hug from your mum.

Pea and Ham Soup
Serves 4-6

500g green split peas
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 large ham hock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 slick of celery, chopped
1 large potato, diced
2.5 litres of water
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Put the split peas into a large bowl of cold water (make sure the water covers the peas by at least 5cms) and add the bicarbonate of soda. Leave to soak overnight.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sweat the vegetables over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the water and then the ham hock. The water should completely cover the hock, if it doesn't add a little more.

Thoroughly drain and rinse the soaked peas and add them to the pot along with the potatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Bring it to the boil, then reduce to simmer and cook gently for an hour. Check the seasoning and add sea salt flakes and/or freshly ground black pepper if needed.

Remove the hock, thyme and bay leaves. Rest the hock until it is cool enough to handle, then shred the meat, discarding the bones, fat, sinew and skin.

Take about 2 cups of the soup out of the pot and blitz in a blender until it is totally smooth.  Add this smooth puree back to the pot with the rest of the soup along with the shredded meat. Check the seasoning again.


  1. That is one gorgeous ham hock.. And that soup is one of my faves... Even in the heat of the summer I crave soups like this. Beautiful

  2. Thanks Maria - that's one photogenic hock, right? haha. One of my all time faves too. No amount of sunshine could stop me from a bowl of it, even if it meant eating it in the pool.

  3. Split pea with ham, one of my faves. I made beef barley soup yesterday in the dead heat of summer!

  4. Looks hearty and delicious, perfect comfort food!

  5. Hey Patty - Pea and Ham soup is so comforting. I love a hearty beef and barley soup too. Any kind of weather is soup weather for me.

  6. Thanks Jessica. A bowl of soup is the food equivalent of wrapping yourself up in a quilt.