Sunday, 7 February 2010

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Just a quick one today - inspired by George at A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse.

It's not exactly fast food, because it takes about 4 hours to cook, but those are 4 very low-effort hours! And the rich, comforting flavour makes the time spent well worth it. As an added bonus, it gets really thick when it cools, so it is fabulous to take to work because it doesn't leak all over your lunch bag.

Split Pea and Ham Soup (makes lots)

2 leeks, washed and finely sliced (or an onion, but I had leeks that wanted using)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 smoked ham hock
2 bayleaves
water
500g split peas (yellow or green - in Australia I always used green but I've only seen yellow in the UK)
500g frozen baby peas
Black pepper

In a big saucepan, combine the leeks, carrots, ham hock and bayleaves. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for at least 2 hours, more like 3, until the flesh is falling from the ham bone. Remove the ham hock. Add the split peas to the ham stock, cover and continue to simmer for an hour or so until the split peas have completely collapsed to mush.

When the ham hock is cool enough to handle, peel off the rind (most of the fat will go with it) and pull all of the meat off the bone. Cut it into big bite-size chunks (as in, not dainty bites, but still small enough to get them into your mouth) and set aside.

When the soup is a mush, stir in the ham chunks, the frozen peas and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Simmer another 5 minutes or so, until the frozen peas have cooked through but still retain their fresh, sweet flavour.

Serve generous bowls full.

I think this is definitely one to send to Deb's Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday round-up!

SouperSundays

25 comments:

tamarindandthyme said...

Oh yum - I need more soup in my life! I love the incorporation of fresh (well, frozen) peas at the end.

George Gaston said...

Thank you so much for the "nod". This is one of my favorite winter soups, that gives a bit of hope that spring is just around the corner. I am so glad that you are spreading the word.

Have a great day....

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Ah, classic winter comfort food, and one of my all-time favourite soups... This looks absolutely delish. In fact, I WANT SOME NOW!

Foodycat said...

Su-Lin - it's the right weather for it!

George - no, thank you!

Forkful - I could do with another pot too. I must look out for another ham hock.

Chef Aimee said...

I like that you added leeks - what a great substitution! Mmmm...looking at this gives me comfort!

grace said...

isn't george lovely? i love his posts and i love this soup. ham hock is a positively magical ingredient. :)

Debinhawaii said...

It made me hungry when I saw it on George's site and even hungrier here! I love split pea soup with ham. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Oh Foodycat, this would be so perfect for me right now. It's blustery again today and the weather calls for soup, YOUR soup. So, I hope you sent me a cup. :) Delicious.

Skip to Malou@IMPROMPTU said...

Cooking it for hours until meat falls off right from the bone sounds sooooo gooooohhhhhd!
I love the mushy, pasty texture of this soup... so comforting just as the weather begs for soup.. esp this kind of soup.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Oh lovely - I love Pea and Ham soup. Reminds me of Mum. And it only tastes better the next day! We always used green peas for this.

Foodycat said...

Aimee - I really like leeks in soups.

Grace - he's adorable. SO much good food!

Deb - thanks for hosting!

Teresa - It's turned cold again here, I must make some more!

Malou - oh yes! The texture is just wonderful.

Laura - what is wrong with this country only having yellow split peas?

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wonderful! So warm and comforting. I wish I could find smoked ham hock here. Maybe in the city.

HH said...

I love the idea of the frozen peas at the end for fresh sweetness and colour FC,great idea!

Foodycat said...

Natashya - do you have any Polish or German delicatessens near you? They are usually good for smoked meat!

HH - thanks!

The Cat's Mother said...

I was going to say: some speck or a ham bone would be nice insetad of the hock. I like the green pea addition.

kat said...

I really need to try making some of this since I "think" I don't like split pea soup

Foodycat said...

Mother - I've done it with speck but you just don't get the flavour that comes from a hock or a ham bone.

Kat - do revisit it!

Dee said...

Julian makes this quite often, not with ham hock though. I don't even know if we can get that here. We use bacon bones. Nevertheless its familiar and just as comforting.

A Year on the Grill said...

A little planning, and this is indeed fast food... Hands on, easy and quick... and you can read a book!

Love the ingredients, it must taste wonderful

Foodycat said...

Dee - bacon bones are good too!

Dave - yes, it really isn't a lot of effort!

Rachel said...

Excellent soup suggestion, Foodycat. Be sure to stop by the Cook the Books website and check something out.....

Ben said...

Oh I bet the aromas in the kitchen during those 4 hours are heavenly. I just love soups.

Johanna said...

What a great soup for cold winter nights (and days of course). I love split peas in all colours and I am surprised you don;t get the green ones in England. Have you tried Indian shops?

Foodycat said...

Rachel - wow! Thanks!

Ben - yup! It's very appetising!

Johanna - I'm sure you can get them, but the supermarkets near me don't stock them. I'll see if I can find an Indian grocer.

WizzyTheStick said...

Yum. I saw this soup on souper sundays and just had to come on over to tell you how good it looks.

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