This pea and ham soup has double the goodness with two types of peas! Green peas and split green peas made this winter favourite so much heartier. Pair this hearty soup with some bacon and cheese scrolls and you've got a dinner to keep the cold at bay!
I love nothing more than making a huge pot of this soup and it will last us 3-4 days long. It's everything a winter soup should be. Sturdy and robust enough for a complete meal and it improves over time.
Once cooled the next day the gelatine from cooking the ham hock thickens the soup so that it becomes more a stew. I love adding the regular peas to add pops of texture so much so that I don't bother pureeing it as I love a bit of chunky texture to my soup. Mr NQN loves this soup and his mother used to make a version without ham in it.
Speaking of Mr NQN, he has this habit of leaving his socks everywhere. He has those smaller ankle socks that he leaves around. I call them "sock poos" because they are black and can be found all around the apartment in the most surprising spots.
However recently I've had a little helper help me get rid of sock poos. Mr Teddy Elliott is a sock enthusiast and every stray sock within his reach gets ferreted away. So much so that one day Mr NQN no longer had any clean socks to wear! I suggested that he take a look at Mr Teddy Elliott's beds (he has three of them) and in each bed lay a pile of socks! Thanks to my adorable little helper my sock problem is no more.
Mr Teddy Elliott is also a lover of ham. Whenever I make pea and ham soup he gets very excited. He still needs to put weight on so if he is lucky and well behaved and keeps stealing Mr NQN's socks I will give him a piece of the ham hock skin. But only if he has been really good (and he has collected all of the stray socks!).
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever just eat soup for dinner or do you feel as though you need something more for dinner? Do you cook something new every night or do you make big meals that stretch out over a few days?
Double Pea & Ham Soup
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour (with pressure cooker)
- 2 large onions, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 50g/1.7ozs. butter or 2-3 tablespoons oil
- 250g/8.8ozs. green split peas
- 1 ham hock (I try to get the smallest one that will fit into my pressure cooker)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 5 cups frozen peas
- Salt and black pepper for seasoning
Step 1 - Set your pressure cooker onto the sauté setting for 10 minutes and add butter or oil. Cook onions, carrot and garlic until fragrant and starting to caramelise (around 8-10 minutes). If your pressure cooker doesn't have one of these setting sauté in a large pot on medium heat.
Step 2 - Add the split peas, ham hock, bay leaves and chicken stock and turn on medium pressure and cook for 50 minutes. If you're doing this on the stovetop, cook the above ingredients for 3 hours or until ham is soft enough to pull away from the bone easily.
Step 3 - Release the pressure in the pressure cooker and open up the pressure cooker. Add the peas and then allow them to cook in the residual heat (it won't take long as the soup is so hot). Remove the bone from the soup and discard fat. You can puree the soup to make it smoother or keep it with the texture depending on your mood and the moon. Remove the meat from the bone and chop it up into small chunks. Ladle soup into bowls and divide the ham among the bowls. Season with salt and pepper.