Pea and Ham Soup
450g/1lb dried yellow or green split peas, soaked overnight
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1.7 litres/3 pints/7½ cups ham or vegetable stock
1 bouquet garni
leaves stripped from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
340g/12oz cooked ham, diced
salt and ground black pepper
1 Drain the soaked split peas. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.
2 Add the drained split peas to the pan with the stock. Bring to the boil and skim the surface. Add the bouquet garni and thyme, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour or until the peas are very soft.
3 Stir in the ham and season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bouquet garni.
4 Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve.