I know – there are a million recipes for Pea and Ham Soup all over the internet – and I’m sure they all taste great. The best part about making this sort of soup is that you can eat/drink it any which way you want. What I mean by that is that I like mine to have a smooth, creamy consistency. On the other hand, some people like theirs light and chunky – or somewhere in-between. Therefore, in my opinion, with this soup alone, you can make 3 completely different dishes out of the same thing. I say 3 different dishes because it tastes a lot difference when you have it blended, chunky or in-between. So with a recipe like this you can essentially add 3 new dishes to your culinary repertoire with no effort at all.
I made it the other day to celebrate a beautiful Autumn afternoon. The recipe is below.
2 carrots – peeled and diced
300 grams of dried split peas – soaked in water overnight
2 sticks of celery – diced to the same size as the carrots
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 large brown onion – halved and finely chopped
800g approx of smoked ham hock (or equivalent)
1 tablespoon of butter
a few tablespoons of oil
2 litres of recently boiled water ( I love it when Nigella says that!)
half a teaspoon of salt
– Rinse the soaked split peas and drain away the water.
– Add the chopped onion & smashed garlic to a wide pot along with a tablespoon of butter and a few tablespoons of oil.
– Saute until the onions become translucent. They do not need to colour.
– Add the chopped carrot and celery and stir through.
– Next, add the ham hock, split peas, and enough of the recently boiled water to cover everything.
– Let it simmer on a low heat for 2 hours or until the ham falls off the bone. When that happens, remove the entire hock. Strip off and discard the skin, discard the bone, and finely dice all remaining meat and set aside.
– Blend the rest of the soup into a smooth puree. Just be careful when blending hot soup – loosen the blender cap and place a folded tea towel loosely on top to prevent the lid and hot soup exploding out. I also recommend starting the blender on low and gradually increasing the speed.
– Finally when everything is blended through, return it to your wide pot and add the chopped meat. Heat through and add any additional seasoning as required.
– Serve with crusty bread and some chopped parsley and cream if you have any on hand.