Yellow split peas work perfectly in this ham and pea soup to create a much more filling and hearty alternative to a traditional pea soup made with garden peas or petit pois. The dried yellow version of the pea is much more starchy than it’s green cousin so this makes the best base for a tempting winter soup. Rich in protein but low in fat, this soup is a warming choice for all the family.
- 300g (10oz) dried yellow split peas
- 1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken or vegetable stock, or water
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 500g (1lb) joint of smoked gammon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
Rinse the peas thoroughly and put them in a large bowl.
Cover with cold water and set aside, covered, overnight.
Drain peas and put in a big stockpot
Pour in stock, or water, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes
Add the onion, carrot, celery, herbs and gammon
Bring back to the boil, skim off any scum, then reduce the heat to very low
Cover and simmer for 1½ hours.
Take out the gammon. Set aside to cool a little
Remove the bay leaves and sprigs of thyme.
Blend the peas, vegetables and stock in a food processor until smooth
Put back into the pan and heat through for serving, adjusting the consistency and checking for seasoning.
Remove the skin and fat from the gammon and shred the meat (you should have about 350g/12oz) into small pieces.
Serve the hot soup with chunks of meat added, and garnish with parsley
If you can buy ham bones or 2 smoked ham hocks, use these instead of gammon. It’s best to make a big batch of this soup, and freeze what’s left over.