Soak the peas in a large bowl overnight.
- 500g green split peas
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 brown onions
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 3 celery sticks, ends trimmed
- 1 large (about 750g) ham hock
- 2.75L (11 cups) water
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 black peppercorns
After - all puffed up.
Chop up the vegetables
Prepare the bouquet garni - thyme, peppercorn and bay leaves. The recipe said to wrap them in muslin cloth and tied it up with a string, but I didn't have any muslin cloth, so I used a tea strainer instead.
I didn't know what a ham hock is until today - cured and smoked leg ham. I bought mine from Hudson Meats.
Cooking instructions are super easy. Saute the vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Then put everything else in the saucepan, cover and bring to the boil.
Uncover, turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
The liquid is slowly evaporating.
The soup didn't look like the pea and ham soup that I know until the end. It takes a while for the peas to turn completely into mush.
Two hours' up and it's time to tear off the ham from the bone.
The soup is nice and thick now.
Plonk the shredded ham back into the soup and it's ready for consumption!
I'm happy to report that this is another success! The soup is so rich and warming, and the carrot and celery are so soft (the onion has disintegrated). I even managed to get TLG to eat the celery (people with young kids will know what a feat that is).
The star of the soup, however, was definitely the ham. The saltiness of the ham (with a hint of sweetness) permeates through the soup, and the flesh itself was in pull-apart territory. If you want to make the soup I recommend you get a good quality ham hock from your local butcher.
This recipes makes 6 generous adult-size serves. I'm bringing a bowl for lunch tomorrow and still have plenty left for dinner tomorrow. I spent around $17 on this recipe so it's less than $3 a serve - bargain.
I highly recommend this recipe, it's perfect for the cold weather. The hardest part is the dicing of the vegetables, and trust me, it is worth the (little) effort!