This is a recipe my mother taught me, it is a recipe for pea and ham soup; everything about this recipe is delicious and this is one of three dishes which symbolises nostalgia for me. Everyone has food that reminds them of home and I would like to know what makes you feel nostalgic too so please leave comments below and I will get back to you :)
I like to buy my ham hock from my local butchers in Oxford for £1.95 and that is enough for my soup and my sandwiches throughout the week. Most good butchers will have a choice between smoked and un-smoked ham, I personally like the smoked ham more because I think it adds a bit of extra flavour to the natural stock that the boiled ham eventually produces - plus it smells delicious. I personally don't like to any herbs, apart from garlic, because it distracts your taste buds from the flavour of the ham. In regards to mushy peas, I'm a student, so I just bought the cheapest ones from Tesco which were 36p. If you have the time to make your own mushy peas then that is just great, the more natural your food the better I think.
Mushy peas x4 cans
Salt and pepper (any other herbs you would like)
Garlic cloves x3
Boiled water (enough to cover the ham when boiling in a big pan)
NB: you will need a hand blender for this soup so make sure you have one or you can borrow one off a friend or neighbour.
- Find a pan that is big enough to fit your ham hock, put it in there and pour in enough water to cover the ham.
- Boil the ham for about one hour on a medium heat, skimming off any impurities that appear at the top. The impurities look like cappuccino froth sitting on top of the water.
- Then pour all of this water into a sink and add fresh water (again covering the whole ham) and then add salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and any other herbs that you think would taste nice in your soup.
- Boil this for a maximum of 90 minutes - a minimum of 60. Boiling the ham helps release all the lovely stock flavours you want to make your soup extra tasty. Exactly half way through your boiling time pour out 1/3 of the water and return to boil.
- When the time is up, take your ham hock out of the pan and place it to cool on a plate for 5 minutes. And take the pan off the heat.
- Whilst your ham is cooling open your cans of mushy peas and spoon them into the stock water that's in the pan. Blitz this with a hand blender. (if you want to add creme freche/cream for a cream of pea and ham soup, now is the time to do it, but make sure the stock isn't too hot otherwise the cream will clot.)
- Now that your ham has cooled down a bit, with a sharp knife and a fork (to hold the ham in place) cut away the fat and skin on the exterior that you don't want . Then slice the meat off.
- Put all the bits that you don't want to eat in the bin and start cutting up the ham that you are going to use on a chopping board.
- Add as much as you think is suitable to the pea soup and put the rest in a container for sandwiches in the week.
- Boil the pea and ham soup for a further 10 minutes and serve in a bowl with a dollop of cream, some rocket and some black pepper.
This soup is great for lunch or dinner, and it fills you up unlike some soups which leave you a tad peckish afterwards. I usually make a big enough batch to last me all week and for the total price of £3.03 and a few hours of my time this is definitely one dish that is indeed a bargain, regardless of whether you are a student or not! I love this recipe and I hope that if you make this soup too that you enjoy eating it as much as I do.