Scrabbling in the back of the fridge for a lost chutney last week I came upon the last of the forgotten Christmas ham, well not really forgotten, but certainly not in the front of my mind. As it was organic, properly smoked, wrapped in its cotton bag and kept at the same cool temperature as a northern hemisphere cellar, it was still perfectly fine to eat, if a tad salty and hard. Not good for sandwiches but perfect for a pea and ham soup.
I love pea and ham soup, its easy to make, virtually cooks on its own once its underway, is filling and tasty to eat, stores well in the freezer and it often uses up leftovers, all good things.
I don't have a recipe as such, I usually make it up as I go along, for this soup I put the ham bone in the soup pot, added an onion studded with a clove, two carrots, four cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, fresh marjoram from the herb pots, 500 gms of dried green peas, pepper, no salt as the ham was very salty, plus salt makes dried beans go hard, then covered the whole lot with our filtered tank water.
This mixture was brought to a slow simmer, cooked for about two hours, basically until the ham fell off the bone and the peas were mushy and soft. I let it cool for a bit, pulled out the ham and the big bits of herbs and cloves from the onion, then blended the rest in batches, it went a lovely pea green colour. Next I chopped up the ham from the bone and added it to the broth. Easy peasy!
This yummy soup is now packed up in two person batches in the freezer, ready for the cool weather to return again.