Pea and ham soup

A hearty soup that is great as a winter warmer – this recipe is a perfect way to use leftover ham and to reach your five a day.


450g dried marrowfat peas
1.5–2kg fresh ham shank
2.25 litres water for the ham
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
A sprig of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp cracked black peppercorns
2.25 litres water for the soup
1 tsp mint sauce
A small handful of fresh finely chopped parsley



  1. Soak the marrowfat peas in tepid water overnight or, alternatively, boil them up in a pan of water for 3 minutes, and then cover and simmer for a further 45 to 60 minutes until the peas are tender.

  2. Place your ham shank in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and add 2.25 litres water. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. Place your ham shank, peas, celery, carrots, onions, thyme and black pepper in the pan, pour in another 2.25 litres water and bring to the boil.

  4. Cover and turn down the heat to create a nice slow simmer. Cook for 2 hours.

  5. Remove the ham shank and set it aside to cool. Once cooled, discard the fat, take all the meat off the bone and cut into 2cm pieces.

  6. Put them back in the soup and liquidise half of it. Stir the liquidised soup into the remaining soup for a thick chunky texture and heat the soup for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently to stop it sticking to the base of the pan.

  7. Finally, stir in the mint sauce and parsley. Check the seasoning and serve.


Pea and ham soup