Lancashire Pea and Ham Soup

Once again, delightful memories of childhood, this Pea and Ham Soup was a winter staple at our house and this recipe has been passed down for at least 4 generations.


Soak the peas as directed on the packet (or see notes) then in a large soup pan add the peas, water celery, carrots, onion, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes now reduce the heat to slow simmer cover the pan and cook 45 to 60 minutes until the peas are tender.

Add the parsley and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes until thick now you can puree the peas in a blender or pass through a sieve or just leave as is if you like a chunky soup.

Fine-tune the seasoning, add the diced ham, and serve with a swirl of cream or a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.


You Will Need

Ham. Diced. . Preferably From The Ham Hock You Have Just Used To Make The Stock 2 Cups
Fresh Parsley. Finely Chopped ½ Cup
Sea Salt ½ Teaspoon
Cracked Black Pepper ½ Teaspoon
Fresh Thyme Leaves 3 Teaspoons
Onion. Chopped 1 Large
Carrots Peeled And Chopped 2 Medium
Celery. Chopped Finely 2 Ribs
Ham Stock. If At All Possible Homemade 8 Cups
Marrowfat Peas. (dried) 1 Pound

Hints 'n' Tips

A Few Notes about Dried Peas Soaking Dried Peas,
Overnight Method, Put 1 cup / 200grams / 7 ounces dried peas into a large bowl with 3 cups / 700ml / 1¼ pints tepid water. Do not add any salt.
Quick soak Method, Put 1 cup / 200grams / 7 ounces dried peas into a large saucepan with 3 cups / 700ml / 1¼ pints water. Bring to the boil and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Cover pan and leave to stand for one hour.
Cooking dried peas, on the stove drain the water from the soaked peas and move peas to a large saucepan. Cover with plenty of fresh water, cover and bring slowly to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to a simmer cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender. The longer the soaking time, the shorter the cooking time. If necessary add salt during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
In a slow cooker, proceed as above, adding to the slow cooker after boiling rapidly on the stove for 10 minutes.
In the microwave, soak 225g (½ lb) dried peas overnight. Drain peas then transfer to a 2 litre (3½ pt) glass bowl. Add sufficient boiling water to come 1.25cm (½") above peas. Cover and stand bowl on glass plate in case water boils over. Cook on full power for 30 minutes, checking water level after 20 minutes. Top up with boiling water if necessary. Keep covered and leave to stand for 10 minutes. 650-watt microwave.
Store dried peas at room temperature in a covered container for up to one year. Canned peas should be stored in a cool dry place and should be used within one year.
Soaked or cooked dried peas can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Cooked dried peas can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.


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John, this is simply the best pea and ham soup I have ever made and believe me I have made a few. Your attention to detail on the recipe is brilliant and detailed yet easy to follow and informative. I love the bit on the history of the recipe as well. Thanks for sharing this - well done.
Thank you it is so nice to get comments like this, Best regards John
I made this with the stock left from the Christmas gammon and it is delicious and very easy to make. But as I live in Spain I try to combine Britsih food with a touch of Spanish ingredients so here's a twist. My local supermarket sells the bone left after carving the Serano ham, I would imagine you could get one from a deli in the UK. Add half a bone (not too much - its salty) to the soup. When the soup is ready to liquidise remove the bone and take off any bits of meat to add to the soup. We are having that for lunch today with my husbands home made bread.
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