Pea and Ham Soup
We love the miraculous simplicity of this soup, which takes only two main ingredients. The peas break down in the last stage of cooking — suddenly the soup goes thick as they collapse and release all their starch. Make a double batch and freeze some.
2 hours 40 min
as a main
Quick & Easy
Snacks & Starters
1 large smoked ham or bacon hock
2 whole bay leaves
3 cups dried split green peas, rinsed and checked for stones
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place ham or bacon hock in a large pot with bay leaves and 14 cups (3½ litres / 3½ quarts) water.
Bring to the boil, skimming off and discarding any scum that rises to the surface.
Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
While the meat cooks, place the split peas in a separate pot, cover with 6 cups water and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the water has almost evaporated (about 40-45 minutes).
Lift ham or bacon hock out of cooking liquid, discard the skin, fat and bones and finely dice the meat.
Return meat to the pot containing the cooking liquid and add the partly cooked peas, salt and pepper.
Simmer gently until peas are fully broken down (about another 40 minutes).
Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with crostini or croutons, if desired.
The soup will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or can be frozen.