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Pea and Ham Soup
1 large smoked ham or bacon hock 2 bay leaves 3 cups dried split green peas, rinsed and checked for stones salt and ground black pepper
© Annabel Langbein Media
Place ham or bacon hock in a large pot with bay leaves and 14 cups (3½ litres / 3½ quarts) water. Bring to the boil, skimming off and discarding any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
While the meat cooks, place the split peas in a separate pot, cover with 6 cups water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the water has almost evaporated (about 40-45 minutes).
Lift ham or bacon hock out of cooking liquid, discard the skin, fat and bones and finely dice the meat. Return meat to the pot containing the cooking liquid and add the partly cooked peas, salt and pepper. Simmer gently until peas are fully broken down (about another 40 minutes).
Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with crostini or croutons, if desired. The soup will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or can be frozen.
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