Pea and Ham Soup

Posted By Kerri


When I was small, we ate peas fairly often but I always hated them. In an effort to get rid of them and enjoy the rest of my dinner, I would eat them all first with lots of gravy to disguise the taste. I suppose all those years of intense-pea-eating must have slowly changed my mind because I love them now and have done for a long time.

My dislike of peas was as strong as my love for ham. For the entire duration of my school life, I ate ham sandwiches for lunch almost every day. Occasionally I would have corned beef instead but, four days out of five, it would be ham and that suited me just fine. It still does on lots of days, although nowadays I’ll add mustard and salad.

So, two of my favourite things in one dish meant I’ve been looking forward to cooking this ever since I managed to track down a ham hock. I thought it would be easy but had to go to four different butchers before I found one.

I used Heston’s method but didn’t add the pancetta as he did. I’m sure in the grand scheme of things a little extra pancetta is going to make a huge amount of difference but all those months of winter casseroles and roast dinners are starting to take their toll and even the slightest nod towards healthier eating is very welcome.

I made the stock yesterday which meant all I had to do today was the soup part, which was quick and easy. Even without the ham and extra peas, the soup was delicious: salty from the ham bone and with a very rounded, savoury flavour from the peas. The combination of the two hightened the taste sensation even further; it was still salty and savoury but the ham added an earthy note and the peas popped pleasingly in the mouth lending a further sweetness.

Heston’s recipe served six but we only made three bowls of soup which means we have plenty of ham and stock left over, we’ve already planned something for the leftover ham but the stock will have to wait patiently in the fridge for now.

Mar 25th, 2009

5 Comments to 'Pea and Ham Soup'

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  1. Mrs Ergül said,

    I like biting into peas and have it burst like little balloons in my mouth when I was a child! Look at that green! It makes one cheerful!

    Mrs Ergül’s last blog post..Honey Chicken

  2. Helen said,

    Yum, a total classic! I made the exact same soup recently and it was delicious – I didn’t add the pancetta either. It’s good to hear you had a love of the pig from an early age!!

    Helen’s last blog post..The Underground Restaurant

  3. Angry Brit said,

    I’ve been wanting to try Heston’s recipe for a while. It’s been bookmarked for ages and it seems like a nice step from winter to spring.

    Angry Brit’s last blog post..A Love Letter to Utah

  4. Sakkarin said,

    The Heston recipe is one of my favourites of all time. I recommend you try it with the pancetta and bacon – both the crunch and the pungent caramelised fried bacon taste in those little bits of bacon adds to the overall texture and flavour. If I can’t get hold of proper pancetta from a deli, I use one of the Tesco double packs, which are around £1.50, using one pack for the stock and the other for the crispy bacon garnish.

  5. Kerri said,

    I will do, Sakkarin, thank you. Any excuse to eat more pork 🙂

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