Pea and Ham Soup

A bowl of Pea and Ham Soup with chunks of ham and potatoes. pinit

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Pea and ham soup is a time-honored dish that warms the soul with its rich, savory flavors and hearty texture. This classic soup, made with tender green peas and smoky ham, has been enjoyed by generations and remains a beloved comfort food around the world. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the history of pea and ham soup, share the step-by-step recipe, and offer tips and variations to make it your own. Whether it’s a chilly winter evening or a refreshing spring lunch, pea and ham soup is the perfect choice for any season.

Pea and Ham Soup, a hearty and comforting dish, has roots in several culinary traditions around the world. It’s a variation of split pea soup, which dates back centuries and is enjoyed in various forms across different cultures.

  • Split pea soup itself has ancient origins, with evidence of its consumption found in the Greek and Roman civilizations.
  • Pea and Ham Soup is particularly popular in Western cuisine, where it’s often associated with British, American, and Australian culinary traditions.
  • The combination of split peas and ham provides a balanced and nourishing meal, making it a beloved comfort food.

Over time, this dish has evolved and been adapted to suit different regional tastes, but its heartiness and satisfying qualities remain consistent.

Pea and Ham Soup

Pea and ham soup is a traditional dish that harks back to simpler times when families made the most of their ingredients to create nourishing meals. This soup features dried green split peas that are slowly simmered with ham hocks, bacon, and a medley of vegetables until they form a luscious and creamy texture. The resulting soup is a symphony of flavors, with the sweetness of peas complemented by the smoky and salty notes of the ham. Topped with a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, this soup is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 2 hrs Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 6 Calories: 517.44 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Step-by-Step Instructions

Prepare the ham hock and bacon:

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  2. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside for later use.

  3. In the same pot, add the diced ham and cook until browned. Remove the ham and set aside with the bacon.

Saute the vegetables:

  1. In the same pot, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, carrots, and celery.

  2. Cook the vegetables until softened and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Add the peas and ham hock:

  1. Add the rinsed split peas, bay leaves, dried thyme, and black pepper to the pot with the sautéed vegetables.

  2. Pour in the chicken broth and water, and add the smoked ham hock or ham bone to the pot.

  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the peas are tender and the ham hock is fully cooked.

Remove the ham hock and blend (optional):

  1. Once the peas are fully cooked and tender, remove the ham hock or ham bone from the soup and set it aside.

  2. At this point, you can use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. Alternatively, leave the soup as is for a chunkier texture.

Add the diced ham and bacon:

  1. Remove the meat from the ham hock or ham bone and chop it into small pieces.

  2. Return the chopped ham and the reserved bacon to the pot with the soup. Stir to combine.

Adjust seasoning and serve:

  1. Taste the soup and season with salt to your liking.

  2. Ladle the pea and ham soup into serving bowls. For a creamier touch, swirl a tablespoon of heavy cream into each bowl.

  3. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives for a burst of color and added flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 517.44kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15.2g24%
Saturated Fat 4.34g22%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Cholesterol 52.66mg18%
Sodium 1414.44mg59%
Potassium 1148.67mg33%
Total Carbohydrate 56.04g19%
Dietary Fiber 20.65g83%
Sugars 8.88g
Protein 40.61g82%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:

Make it vegetarian:

  • To make this soup vegetarian, omit the ham hock, bacon, and diced ham.
  • Instead, use vegetable broth or water as the base, and add smoked paprika or liquid smoke for a hint of smokiness.

Use a slow cooker:

  • To save time and effort, you can prepare this soup in a slow cooker.
  • Simply follow the same steps of sautéing the vegetables and browning the ham, then transfer everything to the slow cooker along with the rinsed peas, bay leaves, dried thyme, black pepper, chicken broth, and water.
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours until the peas are tender and the flavors have melded together.

Add more vegetables:

  • Enhance the nutritional value of the soup by adding other vegetables such as diced potatoes, sweet potatoes, or leeks.

Adjust the consistency:

  • For a thicker soup, let the soup simmer for a bit longer to allow the peas to break down further.
  • For a thinner consistency, add more water or broth until you reach your desired texture.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve pea and ham soup with warm crusty bread or buttery garlic bread for a satisfying meal.
  • Pair the soup with a simple green salad or a tangy coleslaw for a refreshing contrast to the richness of the soup.
Allergen Information:
  • Pea and Ham Soup typically contains allergens related to its ingredients, such as ham (pork), which may be a concern for individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions. It may also contain celery, onion, and other potential allergens based on the recipe used.
Wine or Drink Pairing:
  • This soup pairs well with a variety of beverages, including a crusty bread roll and butter or a glass of white wine, such as a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.
  • For a non-alcoholic option, consider serving it with sparkling water or a light, herbal tea to complement the soup's rich flavors.
Storage and Leftovers:
  • Pea and Ham Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
  • When reheating, add a splash of water or broth to maintain the soup's consistency, as it may thicken when chilled.
  • Leftover soup can be enjoyed as a quick and hearty meal, perfect for busy weeknight dinners or as a comforting lunch option.
Keywords: Pea and ham soup, green split peas, comfort food, soup, ham hocks, bacon, classic recipe, savory.

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