Pea and Ham Soup

I find that I’m constantly book-marking recipes, making lists, saving webpages.  And then forgetting about them.  It’s a bad habit I have.  To be honest, I have the worst short-term memory.  I need to constantly make little notes to myself in order to get things done.  It’s frustrating, but sometimes I find it humorous – at least I’m aware of it!

When it comes to seasonal cooking I tend to want to make things for winter when it’s summer, and summer things when it’s winter.  I have so many recipes put aside for peach / apricot / plum desserts, but it’s not stone fruit season.  I book-marked all these winter recipes months ago, that only now have found.  Pea and ham soup was one of them.

I’ve always been a fan of this soup, but never made it myself.  I came across this one in the slow food annual cook book from Gourmet Traveller.  The recipe is so simple and there are few ingredients – my type of recipe!  I altered the recipe slightly as my pot wouldn't fit 4 litres of water.  But I found that with less water is a thicker soup, which I like.  You can adjust the water amount to how you like it.

40g butter
olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ham hocks (1.5kg total)
2 – 3 litres of water
500g dried split green peas
400g frozen green peas
Salt and pepper

In a large pot over a medium heat, add the butter, a splash of olive oil, and the chopped onion and garlic.  Saute for 10 minutes until soft.  Add the ham hocks and top up the pot with water (around 2-3 litres).  Simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours until ham hock meat is tender.

Remove the ham hocks and set aside to cool slightly.  Shread the meat and discard the bones and fat.

Add the dired split peas to the pot and simmer for 45 minutes, or until soft.  Add the frozen peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.  When soft, puree the soup in batches.  Taste and add salt accordingly.

To serve, pour the soup into bowl, add the shredded meat and some fresh peas.

Serves 6.


  1. Ooh, I haven't had smoky split pea soup in such a long time--thanks for the delicious reminder!

  2. We have a long standing theory here at my house: ham makes everything better. It's a pretty solid notion. This soup sounds divine - I've always loved pea soup - its simplicity, its colour. (sigh...) Your photos are perfectly lovely as well!

  3. This is an adaptation/simplification of Thomas Keller's recipe. Try his.


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