Sunday, June 3, 2012

London Particular (Split pea and ham)

  • A ham hock and a selection of vegetables (onion, leek, celery, parsley stalks, garlic and a carrot) get cosy in a pan, with peppercorns and bay leaf. Cover them with water to muffle their cries.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer gently for a few hours half covered. (I cheated with my pressure cooker.)
  • When the meat is tender, strain the stock into a bowl, discarding the veggies and shredding the meat. 
  • Rinse a handful per person of green split peas til the water runs clear, then soften some diced onion (and garlic, if you're feeling raunchy) in butter and add in the peas.
  • Pop in some of your stock, bring to the boil and simmer, skimming off any scum.
  • When tender (30-40 mins), blitz half the lentils, return to the escape-peas, and add in some meat.

What did it taste like? Deeply flavourful, hearty and terribly satisfying.

  1. Make too much stock, then use only enough to cook your peas. You can then adjust the consistency once everything comes together. 
  2. Be careful with seasoning - less/no salt if you have a smoked hock. If it isn't smoked you might want to add some fried lardons at the pea-simmering stage (fat drained off). If it is smoked, check your stock isn't too salty before adding to the peas (you can add water to reduce the saltiness and/or pre-soak it overnight before you start cooking it). 
  3. You can also use pork ribs if you haven't got a ham hock to hand - in this case, I strongly advise the addition of lardons. 
  4. This is really a winter soup but if June is misbehaving (as it is this year in Paris), go wild and make it then.


  1. This soup tasted very good... which is lucky after simmering the stock for 5 hours! I like your technique of blitzing half the ingredients instead of all, is this your own idea? (I notice you've done this with several recipes, but never seen this outside of your blog).

  2. 5 hours! Very impressive. The notorious half-blitz is not my own - many soup-makers make soup in this way, but it's a nice way to personalise your soup, being that you can blitz any proportion that you wish. Go forth and semi-whiz.