Pea & Ham Soup

Pea & Ham soup would have to be my all time favourite soup and I actually really look forward to winter to tuck into this goodness.

Ingredients –
I large Ham Hock
200g diced bacon
1 large brown onion finely diced
1 large carrot finely diced
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1 potato peeled and diced into small cubes
2 salt reduced chicken stock cubes
1 teaspoon of Vegeta Stock
1 500g bag of split peas. Rinse and cover in cold water for 24 hours before making the soup
Lots of pepper

Optional – 1 packet of bacon bones. Not completely necessary but they add a lovely depth of smokey bacon flavour and they really enhance the flavour.

Method –
It’s important to soak your peas prior to making this soup. I rinse mine in cold water, add a pinch of bi-carb and pop in a container and cover with cold water over night. The bi-carb will help keep the peas nice and green and also helps soften them.

Rinse your peas well and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook your onion, celery and bacon pieces in a little water for a few minutes.
Add all your veg, stock, peas, pepper and hock and cover with water.

Cook on low to medium heat for 1 hour stirring often to ensure the peas don’t stick.
Remove the hock, place on a chop board and remove the skin and any fat.
For the meat, pull it from the bone, dice and add back to the soup. You will get a few cups of meat depending on the size of your hock.

Cook your soup for another half an hour and if you used bacon bones, remove them now.

Now the soup is ready, taste and make the call if it needs to be seasoned with salt. All bacon and hocks etc can vary in saltiness (this is why I use salt reduced stock cubes), so now is the time to see if it needs it. Better to have the option to add rather than end up with a salty soup.

I like mine chunky, but if you prefer you can blitz it.

Serve with crusty rolls and enjoy.

Mandy
xxx

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