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    Split pea soup with smoked ham

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    Split pea soup with smoked ham

    by Diana Henry

    One of the most loved soups of northern Europe. You’ll find versions in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia. If it’s a long time since you last cooked a ham hock or smoked gammon, this is a reminder how useful it is. You can also use chicken stock and buy pre-cooked ham hock – I prefer smoked ham. Soak the split peas overnight to reduce the cooking time 

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    Serves: 6


    15g butter
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1 stick celery, finely chopped
    1 large carrot, diced
    350g yellow or green split peas
    2L stock (preferably from cooking a smoked gammon or ham hock)
    2 bay leaves
    2 sprigs thyme
    200g cooked smoked ham (from a small joint of
    gammon or a ham hock), shredded or chopped
    Flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional) 


    1. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot over a low heat until they are starting to soften. Add the split peas, stock, bay leaves and thyme.

    2. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Season and cover the pan. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the split peas collapse to a purée. If you haven’t soaked the peas this will take at least an hour. You can then purée this, or keep it a bit chunky by using a potato masher to roughly crush the vegetables and peas instead.

    3. Taste for seasoning. Add the ham, keeping some back for the top, and heat through.

    4. Ladle into bowls, then scatter some ham and parsley on top – no need for cream or other embellishments.  

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