Winter is upon us and it’s time to look forward to a pot of incredibly flavoured Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup. We’ve found a way to glam up this delicious, but not so good looking soup using frozen green peas to really take the colour from drab and dreary, to bright and enticing.
Poor old pea and ham soup whilst utterly delicious is not in the visual glamour stakes of soups such as Minestrone with Ham and Pesto, or our Zucchini and Pesto Soup with its ribbons of zucchini drizzled with sour cream or our Quick Cauliflower and Bacon Chowder. BUT…..using bright green frozen peas really ups the beauty stakes and takes the Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup visual from ‘Cinders to Cindarella’ in the good looks department of soups.
Using frozen peas adds a really vibrant flavour, with their sweet taste which tastes of Spring, in Winter. Such an easy way to switch up an old favourite.
At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup
green split peas
Fresh Mint Adds The WOW Factor For Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup
Fresh mint and green peas are a match made in heaven. Stirring in a large handful of thinly sliced mint leaves really brings out the flavour of the peas and boosts this soup from great, to fantastic!
Saute Veg and Cook That Soup
Are Split Peas The Same As Green Peas
Green split peas are exactly that, they’re identical to fresh green peas only they’ve been split and dried. There are both yellow and green varieties and either can be used to make this pea and ham soup.
They’re economical, quick and easy to cook and are a great pantry standby.
They have an earthy flavour and a firm, smooth texture that when cooked can hold their shape, or with further cooking become soft and creamy.
Green split peas don’t have to be soaked before using however it can somewhat shorten the cooking time if you do.
Slice Meat, Add The Fresh Peas, Blend And Serve
Where To Buy Smoked Ham Hocks and What Are They
Smoked ham hocks are widely available at supermarkets, delicatessens and your local butchers.
Ham hocks are cut from the leg hock of the pork. They’re traditionally smoked, cooked and cured and are surrounded by collage, connective tissue and meat all encased in a thick band of fat and skin.
They’re our secret ingredient for making delicious soups and we generally always have one stashed in the freezer ready to make a delicious soup. They can be cooked from frozen which is a major bonus.
Frozen Peas Nutrition And Why We Love Them
Green peas have an impressive nutrition profile. They’re low in calories and contain just about every vitamin and mineral you need as well as having a significant amount of fibre. You’ve got to love that.
What’s not to love about frozen peas we ask. Their readily available, cheap, flavoursome, pretty 🥰 and downright delicious.
Peas are picked and flash frozen at the height of their freshness. In fact peas are the only vegetable you’ll find in our freezers as they’re so darned versatile.
You can throw a handful into your chicken pot pie, lightly mashed them with some butter and top with grilled salmon, whip up a quick pea and mint pesto, pea risotto and so many other uses. They’re convenient, and a freezer must have staple in our book.
Instant Pot vs Stove Top Cooking Times for Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup
Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup can be made in an instant pot which will cook the smoked ham hock and split peas in about 40 minutes, or on the stovetop which will take around 2 1/2 – 3 hours till the hock is literally falling off the bone. Of course, there’s always the good old slow cooker, which is perfect as a set and forget method of cooking. The slow cooker is especially useful if you want dinner cooked and waiting when you get home from work. 🥰
What To Serve With Pea And Ham Soup
In our opinion, there is nothing better to serve with pea and ham soup other than thick crusty bread either fresh or toasted and slathered with butter. Check out our Quick No Knead Bread 😍 to really impress your loved ones.
Watch How To Make Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup
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Can you Freeze Home Made Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup
Pea and ham soup freezes like a dream. Allow the soup to cool down completely and ladle into suitable containers leaving a little head room as liquid expands once it’s frozen.
Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw the soup remove from freezer and thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or grab a container or two straight from the freezer and pop the soup into a saucepan big enough to take the frozen blocks.
Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of water to the pot and heat over low to medium until the soup is thawed and heated through. The water won’t dilute the flavour, it’s there to just get the melting process going.
Don’t forget to let us know what you thought when you make this fabulous Green Pea and Ham Hock Soup in the comments below
This utterly delicious soup can either be made on the stove top which will take around 3 hours (mostly hands free), or in an instant pot which will take about 40-45 minutes.
You can of course use a slow cooker as well.
All methods are the same process, it's just the cooking times that will differ. Enjoy!
- 100g unsalted butter (3 1/2 ounces)
- 2 large brown onions diced
- 3 sticks celery diced
- 2 cups dried green split peas
- 1 smoked ham hock weighing around 1.2 kg (2 1/2 pounds)
- 2 1/2 litres chicken stock (2 1/2 quarts)
- 4 cups frozen peas (3 cups for blending and 1 cup for leaving whole)
- large bunch of fresh mint - leaves plucked from stem and finely sliced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fine white pepper, depending on your taste
- salt to taste - note: hocks vary in their saltiness
- melt butter and saute onion and celery till translucent - about 10 minutes (note: we are not looking to brown the vegetables, just slowly soften them without colouring)
- add hock, dried peas and stock
- if using stove top bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 2 1/2 -3 hours or till meat is falling off the bone
- if using instant pot cook for 40-45 minutes, slow cooker usually takes around 8 hours
- remove hock and place on a plate to cool a little and remove skin and any fatty bits and discard. Chop meat into bite sized pieces and keep aside
- add 3 cups of the frozen peas (reserving 1 cup) to the simmering soup and cook for 3-4 minutes
- blend soup using a stick blender till smooth (if using an upright blender allow the soup to cool a little and blend half a container at a time as the soup may go everywhere)
- add the reserved 1 cup of peas and simmer for 3-4 minutes
- stir through mint leaves and pepper
- add chopped meat
- taste for seasoning remembering that hocks can vary in their saltiness
- serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
1. soup freezes well
2. keep refrigerated for 2-3 days