Split pea & green pea smoked ham soup

Split pea & green pea smoked ham soup

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(32 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs Plus overnight soaking


Serves 8
John Torode shares the recipe for one of his all-time favourite soups

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal292
  • fat11g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs23g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre5g
  • protein26g
  • salt3.56g
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  • 1kg gammon or ham hock
  • 200g split peas, soaked overnight



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 300g frozen peas
  • crusty bread and butter, to serve


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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20th Feb, 2020
I’m not sure why my soup was apparently different to so many of the others here, perhaps it was the gammon. But I’ve made so many more tastier soups in a fraction of the time. Disappointing and to be honest, most of it ended up in the bin.
Zoe Dewar's picture
Zoe Dewar
15th Feb, 2020
Absolutely delicious. Added more celery than stated just to use up but otherwise followed exactly. Oh. I added peppercorns too which got blitzed in. The amount of split pea was more than enough and the Frozen peas maintained the vibrant green colour and little edge of sweetness. I did add water twice, but not a lot. Served mine with blue cheese, walnut and date scones. Sublime.
22nd Dec, 2017
This is an excellent recipe as written. Ignore the many comments saying the soup will be very thin, or that the soup needs more split peas. It doesn't. I would advise against topping up with water, as mine didn't need it, but do suggest cutting the gammon so it is submerged in water. Make sure to follow the first step of boiling in water, as the soup will be quite salty if you do this (I can't imagine how salty it would be if you didn't). I didn't need to add any additional salt. I found this took longer than 3 hours (more like 4–5 to get the gammon very tender), but also found that not soaking the split peas didn't affect the final result.
Carol C's picture
Carol C
5th Feb, 2017
Made this today it is a lovely recipe that I will definitely use again. I swapped the celery for turnip and swapped the bay leaves for dried herbs as I had neither of those ingredients and it still came out great. I only topped up the water once at the beginning of the cooking as I wanted a thick soup and served it with fresh crusty baguettes. Yummy!
17th Oct, 2016
Pea and ham is one of my favourite soups and this is probably the best version I have tasted to date. Very tasty and very easy to make, will be a favourite this winter I think. All it needs is some crusty bread to go with it!
pandorcia's picture
21st Sep, 2016
This was the first ever ham & pea soup I ever made and it was delicious! I increased the amount of water and all of the ingredients apart from the gammon as I thought it would be too much of meat and not enough soup :) so I added: 2 celery sticks, 3 onions, 3 carrots, 500g of split peas, 3 bays leaves, LOTS of garden peas (whole packet - I think it was 750g) and about 3,5 litres of water or so. Everybody loved it and I'm making it again as I'm writing this :)
2nd Dec, 2015
Great recipe! Added 1 shallot, pinch each of dried rosemary and thyme and 2 cloves of garlic to stock. Cooked ham in stock, drained and used the stock to cook 'no soak' split green peas until tender (40 mins). Added cooked ham when ready to serve. 5 stars
15th Aug, 2013
Fantastic recipe!!! Tastes amazing, filling and healthy.
5th Jan, 2013
I added potato and some extra herbs. Was very nice but I agree it could have done with less liquid. Will reduce water next time.
19th Aug, 2012
five out of five for me... best soup ever!


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