This Pea and Ham Soup is so delicious that you can throw it all into the slow cooker. The onion does not need to be cooked separately as it will “sauté” in the fat that comes up from the ham hock. The ham bone adds incredible flavor to this thick, hearty broth!
Use leftover ham bones from Christmas or store-bought Ham. This can be made in a slow cooker or stovetop!
Peas and Ham Soup
I’ve said for years that Lentil Soup was the least attractive soup in the entire world.
In retrospect, I don’t know if Pea and Ham Soup is the right name.
Think about it. It’s pretty to have a white Corn Chowder. Thai Tom Yum Soup has a vibrant color. Creamy carrot soup has a bright orange color. Laksa is a fiery orange color.
What about pea soup? It’s more brown than green. Kahki at best.
No, it is not glamorous.
This ugly duckling, however, is delicious. After one bite, you’ll be hooked!!
What’s in Pea and Ham Soup
What you’ll need to make pea and ham broth. Here, I have used a ham hock from the store because I had used all of the ham bone I was able to collect from friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. When it comes to collecting ham bones, I’m a Scrooge!!
- Split green peas These are dried peas which have been halved. They cook quicker and don’t need to be soaked overnight, like most beans (for things like Southern Baked Beans). The beans are neutral and earthy in taste, but they absorb the flavors of whatever is cooked with them – here, Ham. They become creamy when cooked long enough (to make the ham meat ultra-tender) and thicken the soup.
- No broth, just water. The ham bone releases enough flavor to make the soup broth with only water. What a great idea!!
- A ham hock, or hambone, is what you are looking for if you have ever wondered what it was. It is the bone that remains after removing all of the Ham from a leg (like the cold cuts in delis). It is cooked or smoked.
- You’ll notice that if you buy it, it will look much better than the leftover scraps of ham bones from your homemade glazed Ham. They are neatly cut and then re-smoked, from what I can tell, to seal the surface.
WHERE TO BOUGHT HAM HOCKS
- Ham hocks can be purchased in delis and over the counter. It is also sold vacuum-packed with other hams and items similar to hams.
MAKE CERTAIN IT’S MEATY
- Ham Monsters have been known for picking up leftover ham bone. While they are usually nice and meaty to flavor the soup with and add plenty of shredded Ham, store-bought ham bones can be a bit too much. If your hambone isn’t enough meaty, you can add some ham to the soup.
Place everything in the slow cooker and turn it on.
- It is not necessary to sauté the onion separately. In this recipe, the onion will “saute” and rise to the top of the ham fat. There is no difference between the two methods.
- Peas become so creamy. Blitzing can be done if you want. I prefer to puree my soup with a handheld stick blender partially. You get the best of two worlds: a creamy, smooth soup broth and soft peas and vegetable bits.
How long should you cook pea and Ham soup?
- Slow cook the Pea and Ham Soup for at least eight hours in a slow cooker, but ten hours (on low) is better. The Ham should literally fall from the bone and can be shredded with a light touch.
- If the Ham can be easily sliced, it has been cooked for long enough to release tons of flavor in the broth!
Split peas – good or bad for you?
- It is! High in protein and fiber, they can reduce cholesterol. They are also low in fat. Split peas contain more carbohydrates than other vegetables, so if you are on a low-carb diet, be careful.
What to serve with Pea & Ham Soup
- This thick soup is best dipped into a warm, crusty piece of bread.
- You can actually forget about spoons. Imagine eating it all with bread. ?
- Try a French Carrot Salad dressed with Honey Dijon dressing for a totally different and delicious option! – Nagi x
- PS Some recipes make peas and Ham Soup greener by adding frozen peas or spinach at the end. I chose to focus on the flavors, flavors, flavors!
- ▢ Split peas 500g/ 1lb (Note 1)
- ▢ Note 2: 1.2-1.5kg (2.4-3 lbs) ham hock, bacon hock, and MEATY leftovers ham bones (Note 2).
- ▢ Start with 1/4 tsp of salt and adjust later.
- ▢ Black pepper, 3/4 tsp
- ▢ Two minced garlic cloves
- ▢ Two bay leaves, dried or fresh
- ▢ One onion, finely chopped
- ▢ Peel and finely chop one carrot.
- ▢ Finely chop two celery sticks
- ▢ Eight cups of water (2 liters/qts).
- ▢ Finely chopped parsley
- ▢ Crusty bread to be dunked!
- Push Ham into the slow cooker and add peas. Spread all ingredients over the hambone, then add water.
- Slow cook for 8-10 hours on LOW, or 6 hours at HIGH. (Or 2.5 hours low on stovetop, 1 hour – 1 hour 20 minutes pressure cooker/Instant pot on HIGH).
- Remove the hambone and shred the ham meat. Remove the bone and skin.
- Remove bay leaves. Use a stick blender to blitz the soup 2 or 3 times – this thickens it but does not make it smooth. (My preference, although you can blend until completely smooth if you wish).
- Stir the Ham back into the slow cooker. Add more salt to taste if necessary (Ham adds a lot of salt to the soup).
- Garnish with parsley. Serve with crusty, toasted bread to dip in the sauce – try Irish Soda bread or Garlic bread.