Pea and ham soup is traditionally served in Scotland on New Year’s Eve but I love this soup any time of the year. It’s creamy, smokey, filling and satisfying. So that ticks all the boxes for me. You can also use frozen green peas in this recipe.
Yellow split peas are one of those store cupboard ingredients you probably bought with the best of intentions, then suddenly realise they need using up and can’t remember what you were going to do with them. Every now and then I pull everything out of the cupboards in a crazy frenzy to check the dates on packets and use up any half opened things. Most of my recipes get invented as a result of this tidying up process.
I’ve recently got more ruthless in my home about decluttering and organising after reading the Marie Kondo book and watching her Tidying Up series on Netflix. I was doing really well with giving old books to charity, folding my clothes nicely and throwing out all my odd socks but then I got to my kitchen…….. I think most cooks have one of those cupboards where everything is stuffed in with packets spilling out here, there and everywhere. Yes, we all have one of those!
Sadly I have a cupboard which doesn’t look anything like the rows of neatly organised storage jars we are supposed to have in order to reach our level of sentient super organised being. Welcome to real life. However, I think a little bit of “untidiness” is also good for the soul and your creativity, so I give you my full permission to make a bit of a mess in your kitchen every now and then. Now go and open that lovely store cupboard with loads of packets crammed in and have a good rifle through for that bag of almost out of date yellow split peas at the back. Then get your stock pot out and start cooking something awesome!
675g Smoked Ham Hock
450g packed of dried yellow split peas
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
2 litres of hot water from the kettle
Trim any skin or visible fat off the outside of the ham hock.
Put all the ingredients into an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or a Stock Pot with a lid for hob cooking.
If using the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, cook on the Manual setting for 20 min followed by Natural Pressure Release.
If hob cooking, bring to the boil. Then turn down to a gentle simmer, pop the lid on and simmer over a low heat for approx 1 hour until the meat and peas are cooked. The dried peas should be starting to disintegrate at the end of the cooking time.
Once everything is cooked, remove the ham hock and shred the meat off the bones, discarding any obvious lumps of fat. Discard the bones as well. Put the meat to one side.
Use a hand held blender to blitz the cooked peas left in the pot with the cooking stock. Then return the chunks of ham hock meat to the pot and stir gently to combine.
Taste and season. I deliberately haven’t added any stock cubes to this recipe as I feel the ham hock is salty enough but season your soup just how you like it.
Serve in warmed bowls and enjoy!