Well it certainly isn’t the prettiest looking thing, but I do love Pea and Ham Soup! It is such a hearty and filling meal and every now and then I just have to have some. The texture is lovely and velvety and the ham really makes it a meal in a bowl. I think it may be my favourite soup.
I made this once with an unsmoked hock and no garlic and it was not that great, so I think both items are essential!
Pea and Ham Soup
serves 4 – 6
1 smoked ham hock (about 1kg)
2 cups dried split peas (I like the green ones)
1 onion, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced (optional)
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
2.5 litres water
Put everything into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the pot, leaving it slightly ajar. Allow the soup to simmer away for about 2 hours, until all the veggies are nice and soft. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface and give it a stir every now and then to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Remove the ham hock, thyme sprig and bay leaf and puree the soup with a stick blender. Trim the fat and skin from the ham hock and take off the meat and dice it into small chunks. Put the chunks into the pureed soup and taste for seasoning. I like it nice and peppery and find that the hock is normally salty enough that it doesn’t need any extra salt.
The soup can be reduced slowly if you like it thicker or watered down for a thinner soup.