Mamta's Kitchen

Ham and Pea Soup

Pea and Ham Soup

Steve Lister

This is a simple, filling winter soup that can be served as a main course. Although it looks complicated, because you seem to be doing a lot of different things to get it together, you only need to do a bit of preparation on the day before making it. You then cook it slowly, not in a hurry. It works best if you can leave it cooking slowly for several hours. Mine was cooking from about 1 pm to 5 pm... nice and slow… stops the peas shedding their skins as much and makes the meat nice and tender. I tend to scoop out the few skins that do come off and eat them, as there is nothing wrong with them! Serves 10


  • Stage 1

  • 1 kg. dried Marrowfat peas

  • 2 tablets of bicarbonate or 2 tsp. soda bicarbonate

  • 1 vegetable stockpot/cube

  • Hot water

  • Stage 2

  • Soaked Peas

  • 1 vegetables tockpot or cube

  • A good pinch of black pepper

  • Stage 3

  • 1 kg. ham/gammon joint

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and thickly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and left whole initially)

  • 11 tsp. black pepper

  • /2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 2-4 tbsp. white wine vinegar

  • Do not add salt - wait until it is ready and then taste. As the ham tends to be quite salty, the stock made from it is usually salty enough.


  1. Stage 1 - preparing the peas

  2. The night before, place the peas in a large glass or heatproof plastic bowl.

  3. Add 2 tablets of bicarbonate. The tablets are often contained in the pea pack. If not, add 2 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate powder.

  4. Add 1 vegetable stockpot/cube. Peas soak up the water as they expand), and take extra flavour from the stock cube (I could be wrong though... seems to work)

  5. Cover with hot water, almost double the height of the dry peas and gently stir. Make sure that there is enough space in the bowl for the peas to double in size.

  6. Leave overnight and then give a good rinse the next day.

  7. Stage 2 - starting to cook the peas

  8. Place the rinsed peas in a large pan. Try to use an enamel or stainless steel pan, to avoid discolouring of the pan!

  9. Cover with plenty of water, a good couple of inches above the peas.

  10. Add another vegetable stockpot/cube and a good pinch of pepper

  11. Start it simmering on a nice and low heat

  12. Stage 3 - roasting the ham

  13. Meanwhile, cut the onions in thick slices and place in a roasting dish, along with the garlic, as a platform for the ham/gammon joint.

  14. Sprinkle the joint with a little pepper and smoked paprika

  15. Roast in a red hot oven, 200°C, 400°F or Gas Mark 6, until the joint looks nicely browned, about 30-60 minutes.

  16. Take the ham out and cut any large sections of fat and the skin off.

  17. Chop the now soft garlic and onions left in the roasting tray and give a good stir around the roasting tray, to collect up all the roasted juice and flavour

  18. Add the onions and garlic to the simmering peas.

  19. Stage 4 - adding ham to the peas and serving

  20. Add the roasted whole ham/gammon to the peas and leave it simmering for a good few hours. Skim off any floating 'scum' from the top of the water from time to time. Add extra water if it is getting too thick while cooking.

  21. Once it had had at least 2-3 hours of simmering, take the ham out of the pot, place on a chopping board and cut into slices/chunks, again removing any unwanted fatty parts.

  22. Add the chopped ham to the simmering peas

  23. Cook on for another 30 minutes or so.

  24. Now add the white wine vinegar 5 minutes before serving.

  25. At this point, taste to see if it needs additional salt - it probably won’t!

  26. Serve hot with chunks of any good bread.

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