This slow-cooker soup can be done in a pressure cooker to speed things up for your convenience. See the pressure cooker method at the end of the recipe.
Recipe, styling and photograph by Sam Linsell
Split pea and ham hock soup
HAM HOCK STOCK
- 800g – 1kg ham hock
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 4 – 5 garlic cloves, peeled
SPLIT PEA SOUP
- 2 tbsp olive/avocado oil
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 500g dried split peas
- 1,5L ham hock stock (from above) or chicken/vegetable stock
- 170g – 200g (about 1½ cups – 2 cups) shredded ham from the ham hock (see above) or 200g (1½ cups – 2 cups) ham/gammon, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the stock on the stovetop (alternatively, see the pressure cooker method below), place all of the ingredients in a large, covered stock pot and simmer, 2 hours. Strain out all of the solids and reserve the liquid. Remove the ham hock and cut off the cooked meat. Reserve the meat to add to the soup and discard the bones.
For the soup, heat the oil in a frying pan, and sauté the carrot, celery and onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue sautéing, a further 1 minute.
Add the sautéed vegetables, bay leaf, split peas and stock to a slow cooker. Cook on high, 3 – 4 hours or low, 6 – 8 hours. Add the shredded ham from the hock or the ham/gammon about halfway through the cooking time.
Add the chopped fresh mint and season to taste.
PRESSURE COOKER Split peas take ages to soften, which is why the pressure cooker method is a really good way to speed up the process. The quick release of the pressure also breaks the peas down further, so no blitzing in a blender or food processor is required 1 To make the stock in a pressure cooker, place all of the stock ingredients in the pressure cooker with 2,5L water and cook, 1 hour. Use the slow pressure release. Strain out all of the solids and reserve the liquid. Remove the ham hock and cut off the cooked meat. Reserve the meat to add to the soup and discard the bones. 2 For the split pea soup, add all of the ingredients, including the shredded ham from the hock or the ham/gammon, and heat until the pressure in the cooker is achieved. 3 Cook, a further 20 minutes, and then release the pressure via the quick release method. 4 Add the chopped fresh mint and season to taste.