Pea and Ham Soup

Just in time for winter…

Pea and ham soup is a staple in my house when it’s cold outside.  When I first made it I thought it would be time consuming and laborious, but it’s not at all.  This recipe is easy because none of the ingredients require pre-cooking.  The most important thing with this recipe is a good quality ham hock, it really does make all the difference.  Go to a good deli for this. The best ham hocks in Melbourne, I think, are from the Polish deli at the Queen Vic Market.

This makes a big batch, about enough for six hearty serves.  Leftovers can be frozen.

1 good quality ham hock

400 g green split peas

1 onion, sliced

2 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

2 fresh bay leaves

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Salt & pepper

Rinse the peas well in a colander with cold water.  Put all the ingredients into a large pot and cover with 2.5 litres of water.  Bring to the boil, skim off any foam from the top, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1.5 hours.

Remove the ham hock and allow to cool on a plate.  While its cooling, remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks, and puree the soup.  This will be easiest with a hand held bamix.  Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

When the hock is cooled, separate the meat from the rest of the hock with a sharp knife , chop into small pieces and add to the soup.  Serve.

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The Simplicity Project ~ Jenn Pike

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