Extraordinary Pea Soup With Ham

Pea Soup With Ham
Diana Rattray
  • 3 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (5)

What makes this pea soup extraordinary is the two kinds of peas. Frozen green peas and dried split green peas team up in the soup, making it vibrant in both color and flavor. Use a meaty ham bone in the soup or make it with smoked ham hocks (aka ham shanks).

Top the soup off with some shredded ham, a few seasoned croutons (see below), or a swirl of sour cream.

What You'll Need

  • 2 meaty smoked ham hocks (or ham shanks or a meaty ham bone)
  • 8 ounces split peas
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or more water)
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • Kosher salt, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Put the ham bone, shanks, or hocks in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a full boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes. Transfer the ham shanks to a large soup pot or Dutch oven and discard the cooking liquid.
  2. Rinse the split peas and add to the ham in the larger pot. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, ground black pepper, 4 cups of water, and the vegetable broth or more water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 2 hours.
  1. Remove the lid and simmer for 1 hour longer. Add the frozen peas and continue cooking, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until peas are tender.
  2. Remove the ham hocks from the pot. With a fork, remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and excess fat; shred or chop the meat. Set aside.
  3. Blend the soup in small batches until smooth. Save a small amount of shredded ham to garnish the bowls of soup and add the remaining shredded or chopped ham to the pureed soup.
  4. Serve the soup hot with pieces of the shredded ham for garnish, along with crusty bread or rolls.

Tips

  • Pork hocks usually come from the front legs of the pig, but they can come from the rear legs as well. You'll find pork hocks sold fresh and smoked. Choose smoked pork hocks or shanks for this dish.
  • Quick Croutons: Cut four slices of bread into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes. In a bowl, toss the croutons with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the croutons out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, sprinkle them lightly with garlic powder and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake the croutons in a preheated 325 F oven for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until they lightly browned and crisp. Shake the pan or turn them a few times so they will brown evenly.