Winter is quickly approaching here in Australia. I love winter cooking! It gets colder and you want to turn the stove and oven on and you crave the hot bowls of soup and stew.
Last week we had a rainy coldish day and I jumped right on it with an easy one pot winter meal. Split pea and ham soup did the trick! Pea and ham soup is a great one to make when you’ve had a big family ham dinner and have a bone left over. However, no need to wait until then to whip up a pot. Check with your butcher for ham hocks (I’ve seen them call bacon hocks here too) or go to the deli and ask there. Many times they will have ham bones on hand. I found mine at Queen Vic Market in the deli hall. He was quite happy to sell it to me and there was still a fair bit of meat on the bone.
Home I went to get the cooking started!! It’s a simple list of ingredients and quite an inexpensive meal to put together. There was so much leftover as well so now there are many lunches in the freezer. I just make sure that I freeze them into portions so I only have to take out what I need on any given day.
I’m going to guess that the entire pot of soup was around $10. Not too shabby for 8 portions. That’s just $1.25 each!!
This recipe is quite basic but you can feel free to add other veg to it; celery, leeks perhaps? I’ve seen a lot of recipes with potatoes as well but I don’t put any in mine.
Split Pea and Ham Soup – 8 Servings
- 1 Ham Bone
- 500g (just over 1 lb) green split peas
- Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion – diced
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 1 carrot – peeled and diced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat a bit of olive oil in your stock pot. Saute the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes and then add the carrot. Once the onions start to soften add your ham bone, split peas, chicken stock and bay leaf . Add enough water to just cover the ham bone. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a slow simmer. Let cook for an hour or so. Give it a stir every once in awhile and add more water if it has become dry. Remove the bay leaf and ham bone and when cool enough pick all the meat from the bone and set aside. Discard the bone.
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Now is the time to alter the consistency if you would like. I like my soup quite thick but if you want it soupier you can add more stock or water. Bring it back to a simmer and adjust your seasoning again. You can now add the ham back in or do as I do and plate with a little pile of ham in the middle of the bowl.
When is the soup done? Technically it’s done when the peas are soft but I like to cook it a bit longer. Sometimes I like to use the immersion blender and make the soup really smooth. Just make sure you’ve removed the bone and ham before doing so. It really just depends if you want to have a chunky or smooth soup!
Quick, satisfying and easy on the wallet! I hope you enjoy!