The Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup is a hearty and comforting classic, brimming with the wholesome flavors of split peas and succulent ham. This traditional recipe is a staple in many households, known for its satisfying taste and simplicity. It combines the sweetness of peas with the rich, smoky undertones of ham, all melded together in a warm, inviting broth.
Let’s get started!
What is Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup?
Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup is a classic British comfort food made famous by the TV chef duo known as the Hairy Bikers. This wholesome soup combines the smokiness of ham with the earthiness of split peas, enhanced with a mélange of vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery, and seasoned with herbs for a hearty, satisfying dish.
Typically serving 4-6 people, this soup can be prepared in a leisurely manner, perfect for a relaxed cooking session.
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Why You Love this Recipe:
- Quick to Prepare: It’s straightforward and doesn’t require hours in the kitchen.
- Nutrient-rich: Packed with protein and fiber for a healthful meal.
- Comfort in a Bowl: Offers a warm, comforting experience with each spoonful.
- Customizable: Easily adaptable to suit your taste or dietary needs.
- Budget-Friendly: Utilizes simple, cost-effective ingredients.
Instructions to Make Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup
Making hairy bikers’ pea and ham soup is easy and simple. You only need a few ingredients and a large pot.
Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Rinse and Drain the Split Peas
The first step is to rinse the split peas under cold water and drain them well. This will remove any dirt or debris and prevent the soup from becoming too thick or starchy. You can use a colander or a sieve to do this. You’ll need about 500 grams of split peas for this recipe.
Step 2: Cut the Ham into Bite-Sized Pieces
The next step is to cut the ham into bite-sized pieces and set aside. You can use any type of ham you like, such as bacon, gammon, or ham hock. If you’re using ham hock, you’ll need to cook it separately in water for about an hour, until the meat falls off the bone. Then, shred the meat and discard the bone and skin. You’ll need about 250 grams of ham for this recipe.
Step 3: Peel and Dice the Onion, Carrot, and Celery
The third step is to peel and dice the onion, carrot, and celery. These are the basic vegetables that will add flavor and texture to the soup. You can also add other vegetables, such as potatoes, leeks, or parsley, if you like. You’ll need one large onion, one large carrot, and two celery stalks for this recipe.
Step 4: Heat Some Oil and Cook the Vegetables with Herbs and Spices
The fourth step is to heat some oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and thyme and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. You can also add some salt, pepper, garlic, or other spices, to taste. You’ll need about two tablespoons of oil, one bay leaf, and a few sprigs of thyme for this recipe.
Step 5: Add the Split Peas, Ham, and Stock and Bring to a Boil
The fifth step is to add the split peas, ham, and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour, or until the split peas are soft and mushy. You may need to add more water or stock if the soup becomes too thick or dry. You’ll need about 1.5 liters of stock for this recipe. You can use either chicken or vegetable stock, depending on your preference.
Step 6: Remove the Bay Leaf and Thyme and Blend the Soup
The sixth step is to remove the bay leaf and thyme from the soup and discard them. You can also blend the soup with an immersion blender if you prefer a smoother texture. Alternatively, you can leave some chunks of ham and vegetables, for a more rustic feel.
Step 7: Ladle the Soup into Bowls and Serve
The final step is to ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot, with crusty bread or croutons, or cold, with a green salad or cheese. Enjoy!
How to Store and Reheat Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup?
- Refrigeration: Cool the soup completely before transferring it into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Microwave: Place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl and heat, stirring occasionally to ensure even warming.
- Stovetop: Alternatively, reheat the soup in a pot over low-medium heat, stirring frequently. If the soup has thickened, add a little water or stock to reach the desired consistency.
How to Serve Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup?
As a Main Course:
- Serve with crusty bread or croutons for a hearty meal.
- Pair with a rustic, fresh-baked loaf to soak up the flavorful broth.
As a Starter:
- Accompany with a crisp green salad or a selection of artisanal cheeses for a lighter fare.
- Meaty Main: Complement with roasted chicken or turkey for a satisfying, protein-rich meal.
- Starchy Side: Offer alongside mashed potatoes or fluffy rice for a complete dish.
- Vegetable Accompaniment: Enhance with roasted vegetables or a colorful salad for added nutrition and variety.
- Dessert: Finish the meal with a slice of apple pie or cheesecake for a touch of sweetness.
Nutrition value per serving (assuming 4 servings):
- Calories: 195 to 230
- Protein: 18 grams
- Fiber: 16 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 30 grams
Can I make Hairy Bikers Pea and Ham Soup vegetarian?
Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by omitting the ham and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You might want to add extra vegetables or some smoked paprika for additional flavor.
How can I thicken Pea and Ham Soup if it’s too thin?
If your soup is too thin, you can simmer it for longer to reduce and thicken. Alternatively, you can blend a portion of the soup and mix it back in, or add more split peas initially, remembering they will thicken the soup as they cook.
Hairy Bikers pea and ham soup is a hearty and delicious soup that will warm you up on a cold day. It’s easy to make, budget-friendly, and packed with protein and fiber. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover ham from the holidays.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make this soup from scratch, with tips and tricks to make it even more flavorful and satisfying. You can also check out my other articles on food and cooking, where I share more recipes, tips, and tricks for your food blog.
Thank you for reading and happy cooking!
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