Pea and Ham Soup

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My mum used to make pea and ham soup in winter when I was a child and I absolutely loved it. Nothing beats a nice hearty soup after spending the day playing in snow.

We now live in Australia and let’s say that our winters are very different to the ones we had in Canada. No snowmen or snowball fights here!

I still make this soup in winter which is always nice to have on a cold rainy day. I also found the perfect occasion to make it during summer using leftover Christmas ham.

The best thing is that my 3 year old daughter who’s usually not a big fan of soup always asks for seconds! This soup is definitely a winner for the whole family.

Preparation: 15 mins | Cooking time: 2 hours | Soaking time: 4-6 hours | Serves 6-8 | Can be frozen

INGREDIENTS

• 1 x 500g bag of split peas or dried yellow peas
• 6 cups (1.5 litre)of water or ham stock
• 200g ham diced
• 3 onions chopped
• 2 carrots diced
• 2 celery sticks diced
• 2 tbsp butter
• 4 bay leaves
• *2 tsp ground savory
• *2 sprigs of fresh thyme or
• salt and pepper

*Back in Canada I used savory which adds a nice subtle flavour to the soup. However, I haven’t been able to find savory in Sydney so I’ve replaced it with thyme which is a little bit stronger but equally as good.

METHOD

Step 1. Soak peas in about 6 litres of water for 4-6 hours or overnight if convenient. Drain and set aside.
Step 2. In a large pot, cook the onions in butter. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes.
Step 3. Add the water, peas, ham, thyme or savory and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 2 – 2.5 hours or until the peas are soft. Stir occasionally.
Step 4. Once the soup is cooked, remove bay leaves and discard.
Step 5. Season to taste and serve.