250g green split peas, washed and yellow pea picked out
800g-1kg smoked ham hock
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
1 carrot peeled and cut into 6
3 stalks of celery, cut into 3cm batons
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cos lettuce leaves
2.5L of water or enough water to cover the ham hock
1 cup of frozen peas
Chives or mint, to garnish
In a large pot (approximately 5.3L) add the split peas, ham hock, the onion studded with the cloves, carrot, celery, herbs and lettuce. Cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Skim off any impurities and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the meat from the hock comes away from the bone easily. Add the frozen peas in last 5 minutes of cooking.
Remove the hock from the soup and cool slightly before shredding the meat and discarding the skin, fat and bone. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
In batches puree the soup in a blender until silky smooth. Alternatively use a stick blender. Return the ham to the pot of soup and stir in the cream. Check seasoning. It may need a little salt (depending on how salty the ham hock is) and a good crack of pepper.
Serve with some chives or mint.