Put the gammon in a very large pan
with 2 litres water and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and drain off the
water – this helps to get rid of some of
the saltiness. Recover with 2 litres cold
water and bring to the boil again. Put
everything but the frozen peas into the
pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to
a simmer and cook for 1½-2½ hrs,
topping up the water as and when you
need to, to a similar level it started at.
As the ham cooks and softens, you can
halve it if you want, so it is all submerged
under the liquid. When the ham is tender
enough to pull into shreds, it is ready.
Lift out the ham, peel off and discard the
skin. While it is still hot (wear a clean pair
of rubber gloves), shred the meat. Remove
bay from the soup and stir in the frozen
peas. Simmer for 1 min, then blend until
smooth. Add a splash of water if too thick,
and return to the pan to heat through if
it has cooled, or if you are making ahead.
When you are ready to serve, mix the
hot soup with most of the ham – gently
reheat if made ahead. Serve in bowls
with the remaining ham scattered on
top, and eat with crusty bread and butter.