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Pea and Ham Soup

Introduction & method

This is a very old recipe using simple and cheap ingredients. It's absolutely perfect for a cold winter day.

Pea and Ham Soup Recipe

Before you start, you'll need to soak the dried peas. Overnight is best, but a couple of hours will do. Some packaged peas come with bicarbonate of soda tablets, but if yours don't, add 2 teaspoons yourself. Start the soak with boiling water, and make sure the bicarb is well dissolved.

Peel and chop small the onion, carrot and celery. Melt the butter in a big saucepan on medium heat and stir in the vegetables, whizzing them round to get them all coated in butter. Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down low and let the veggies sweat for 10 minutes.

Put the ham hock or shank into the pan, and add enough hot water to cover it completely. Add the bayleaf and pepper, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, put the lid back on the pan, and cook for 1 hour. Check your peas for doneness - they may take less time or more, depending on the age of the peas and the length of the soak.

Remove the ham and let it cool for a few minutes. When it's cool enough to handle, remove the skin and cut the meat away from the bones. Shred the meat quite finely and add it back to the soup. Depending on the consistency you like, you can either puree the soup to make it smooth, or leave it as it is. You may also add more water to produce a runnier soup, or reduce on high heat to make it thicker.

Whatever you do, your delicious pea and ham soup is now ready. Taste it for seasoning - if it needs salt, add some, but I find that the ham shank adds enough salt.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Pea and Ham Soup on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams marrowfat peas
 1 kilo ham hock or shank
 1 medium onion
 1 carrot
 2 sticks celery
 1 bay leaf
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 25 grams unsalted butter


Marrowfat peas are known as field peas in the US.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6 people
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Soaking time for the peas time: 12 hours.
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes.