Split pea and ham soup

SERVES 6–8 D P C
2½ cups split green peas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups water
8 oz/225 g lean unsmoked ham, finely diced
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Method

1. Rinse the peas under cold running water. Place them in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 3–4 minutes, until just softened.
3. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peas, pour over the stock and water, and stir to combine. Bring just to a boil and stir the ham into the soup.
4. Add the thyme, marjoram, and bay leaf to the pan. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook gently for 1–1½ hours, until everything is very soft. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve.

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