Pea and Ham Soup
Making pea and ham soup is one of the joys of having had a whole ham. A great way to use up everything. However, you can buy ham hocks or bacon bones in the deli or supermarket.
Preparation: 15 minutes (plus soaking time)
Cooking: 1 hour 10 minutes
2 cups (375g) dried split green peas
2 tablespoons(40mls) extra virgin olive oil
1 medium (150g) brown onion, chopped coarsely
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled, chopped coarsely
2 sticks celery, chopped coarsely
2 bay leaves
1.5kg approx. ham bone with ham on it
2.5 litres (10 cups) water approximately
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice or to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)
- Place peas in medium bowl, cover with water, stand overnight; drain.
- Place a very large saucepan or stock pot over medium high heat. Add oil, then onion and carrot and cook until onion is softened and aromatic but not brown. Add celery and cook for a minute or two more.
- Put the bay leaves, soaked peas and ham and cover with water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour or until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally. The peas should begin to collapse.
- Remove the ham bone and when cool enough to handle, remove the ham and shred, discard the bone. At this stage you may choose to puree some or all of the soup. Add ham to the soup. Taste and season to taste with salt & pepper and lemon juice.
- You may care to add a cup of frozen peas at the end, stir through some shredded mint or garnish the top of the soup with mint leaves. Serve with crusty bread.
Lyndey’s Note: Blue boilers, or field peas are a special variety of pea grown specifically for being dried and used whole. When they are dried and halved they’re called split peas.