Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do Winter, Old School Style - pea and ham soup

Don't let the photo scare you, this is one tasty soup. Check out those retro colours! This soup is very simple to make and really doesn't take that long to put together. You can walk away and let it do its thing, add the peas, then walk away again. The tricky part is separating the meat from the bones at the end. You'll need a bit of space to do this as well as a sturdy pair of tongs and a small sharp knife.
This meal is very,very filling so it could easily feed 4 adults and 2 children with some lovely crusty bread; or leftovers can easily be frozen for up to 2 months for a quick and easy meal. Make sure you buy your ham hocks from a reputable Butcher and ask them to chop each hock into 3 pieces. It's also a relatively cheap cut of meat too. The smoky flavour it gives this soup is to die for!


1 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 parsley stalks, no leaves(I saw this in an old pea and ham soup recipe ages ago and have done it eversince. Try it!)
3 ham hocks, about 1 to 1.5kgs worth
3.5 litres water plus an extra 500ml for later
500g split green peas
fresh lemon juice, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste (you won't need a lot of salt)

How to make your soup

In a large saucepan add some oil and pop over a medium heat. Add your onion, celery, carrot and garlic and fry off until nicely done. Make sure you don't burn it. Then add 3.5 litres of water, your ham hocks and your parsley stalks and bring to the boil (this may take a little while) once boilng, reduce to a medium simmer,cover and cook for a good hour. When your hour is up add your split peas and 2 cups hot water. Pop the lid on and cook for another 45 mins or so. Give it a stir every now and then in case the peas are catching on the bottom. When it's ready take out the hocks and get rid of the skin and bones. Puree your soup with a hand held blender (I like it a little chunky)Pop half of the meat back into the soup, stir it through, add your lemon juice, salt and pepper, stir it through and ladle into your bowls. (Some pea and ham soups also add mint, but I really don't think it needs it) Top each bowl with some of the meat and serve with some crusty bread.

Too easy. Enjoy!

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