If you are going to boil a ham why not make pea soup at the same time, or better still use a smoked hock. You can also make this with fresh or frozen peas, but they will need to go in the stock for about 5 minutes only. You will find lots of different types of dried peas these days: quick soak, whole, split and so on. Any will do, you just need to soak ahead a bit. The size of the ham doesn’t really matter if you are making soup and cooking ham for the family, so just buy whatever size you need and follow the cooking instructions below:


  • knob of butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 L ham or pork stock (or 1 smoked hock, boiled in 1L water until soft)
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 500g frozen pea’s
  • 300g thickly sliced ham, (or the meat from the hock) shredded
  • 1T dried mint
  • Crème fraîche for garnish


  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and when lightly foaming gently cook the onions until softened, but not coloured. Tip in the potato and stir to coat in butter, then pour over the stock. Simmer until softened.
  2. Tip in the frozen peas and bring back to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Stir in the diced ham and season to taste. Add the dried mint and taste for flavour. Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraîche.