I remember eating this soup on wintry Saturday nights at my Nanna’s house many times when I was little. I always begged to be allowed to eat it with her small round mustard spoon, the one she kept locked in her bow-fronted glass cabinet with her special tea cups and best silver. I guess I loved it so much I just wanted to make it last longer and she loved me so much she always let me. It’s the simplest of soups to make and ideal for using up that left over Christmas ham bone.

Old Fashioned Pea & Ham Soup Recipe

500g dried yellow split peas, rinsed well in a sieve under running water
1 ham bone or 3-4 pieces of bacon bones* (preferably free range)
2 cups onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups celery, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into thin round discs

Put the rinsed split peas in your largest pot and cover with 16 cups or 4 litres of cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dislodge any peas that settle on the bottom. Add the ham or bacon bone(s) and simmer with an occassional stir for 1 hour or until the peas dissolve. You’ll need to skim the top of this soup occasionally as well, removing any grey-white bubbles of froth as they rise. Add the vegetables and season with black or white pepper and a pinch of salt

Simmer for another hour, topping up with a little water to cover the bone if needed, but not too much that you thin it down. Remove the bone and shred off any meat.

Check the seasoning before serving, balance the salt and pepper, then garnish with chopped parsley, croutons, the shredded bone meat or just with hot buttered toast. Pea & Ham soup is thin to medium thick on the day you make it and gels to a thicker soup overnight.

Notes: *bacon bones are usually available through the winter months from the deli section of most supermarkets or a butcher.

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2 Responses to Old Fashioned Pea & Ham Soup

  1. M347 says:

    Wanted a pea and ham soup just like my mum made when I was little. This is it! Brilliant and easy recipe. I went back in time 35 years from the first spoonful! Thanks for the memory!

  2. dallas gramp says:

    Just made this with the leftover xmas ham bone- absolutely delicious!

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