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Hearty and delicious, this pea and ham soup is easy to make and perfect for a light lunch or starter. It uses pre-cooked ham to make it super quick without compromising on taste.
It is healthy?
“Eat your peas” might be an overused saying, but there is a reason why your parents nagged you to clean your plate. Peas include a whole host of health benefits and include a multitude of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Iron, Folate, Vitamin C and manganese.
Furthermore, peas can help prevent high blood pressure and lower blood sugar. They also contain high amounts of fibre, which can help your digestive system.
This soup also contains ham, which is packed with protein and fibre and relatively low in fat and calories compared to a lot of meats. However, it is typically very high in salt so should be eaten in moderation. The soup contains 285 calories and 11g fat. If you are looking for a super-light version then you could try this pea and mint soup instead.
Can I use fresh instead of frozen peas?
You can certainly use fresh peas for this soup. Fresh peas are typically a little less sweet than frozen peas, so you may prefer that as an accompaniment to the ham.
If you do use fresh peas you will need to cook them for a couple of minutes longer. Additionally, if you buy peas in the pod then you will need to buy around 3x more in weight than shelled peas. And don’t forget to factor in the extra time for shelling!
Can this be made with split peas?
You will commonly see split pea and ham soup, which is also a great recipe although a little different.
Split peas are peas that are processed in a different way. They are peeled and dried out and ‘split’ into two pieces. You can certainly make soup from split peas, but there will be a few key differences:
- As split peas are dried, you will need a smaller quantity by weight. Use around 100g / 3.5oz per person.
- You will need to increase the cooking time significantly as the split peas will need to be simmered until they are softened. This will take around 40-50 minutes.
- The result will be more of a rustic orange colour, rather than green.
What type of ham should I use?
To make life easier, this soup uses pre-cooked ham. Ideally, find a pulled or shredded ham hock or similar. However, you can also use thick-sliced ham cut into thin strips. Note that if you use a honey-roast ham then it will add extra sweetness to the end result (which you may or may not want!)
Can I make it in advance?
This soup is great for making in advance so cook up a big batch and serve it whenever the mood takes you. You can keep the prepared soup in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container. Or you can freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating and heat in the microwave or on the hob/stove.
For a full list of ingredients with weight and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.
- Onion, roughly sliced
- Vegetable stock
- Lemon juice
- Frozen peas (see notes above about substituting fresh peas)
- Mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Shredded ham hock or thickly sliced ham, cut into strips.
How to make it
For more detailed instructions with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.
- Sauté the onion in a large pan until softened.
- Increase the heat and add the stock and lemon juice to the pan. Bring to the boil.
- Add the peas and return to the boil and then cook for a further minute.
- Remove the soup from the heat and add the mint, horseradish and 2/3rds of the ham. Use a stick blender to puree or transfer to a standard blender and blitz.
Looking for more great soup recipes? Try:
- Slow cooker coconut chicken soup
- Polish Zurek soup with sausage
- Butternut squash soup with honey creme fraiche
- Chickpea and chorizo soup
- Carrot and coriander soup
Products that work well for this recipe:
Souper Cubes – freeze soups or sauces easily!
Russell Hobbs 3-in-1 Blender
Leak Proof Soup Bowl
Hearty and delicious, this pea and ham soup is easy to make & perfect for a light lunch or starter. It uses pre-cooked ham to make it super quick and easy.
The default recipe serves 2.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 400ml / 1.7 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 300g / 10.5oz frozen peas (see note 1)
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves
- 2 tsp horseradish
- 80g shredded ham hock or thick-sliced ham cut into small strips
- Single cream and olive oil to garnish
- Immersion / stick blender or blender
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for around 5 minutes until softened.
- Pour in the stock and lemon juice.
- Increase the heat to high and when the stock starts to boil add the peas. Bring back to the boil and cook for a further minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint, horseradish and 2/3rds of the ham.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup, or pour into a blender and blitz, until you have a smooth consistency. Season to taste.
- Serve in bowls with cream and olive oil drizzled over the top and the extra ham piled in the center.
- You can use fresh peas instead of frozen. If you buy fresh peas in the pod then you will need to buy around 3x more in weight than if using frozen shelled peas.
- If you are using fresh peas you will need to increase the cooking time to around 5 minutes.
- A standard blender will give the smoothest soup, while an immersion blender will give a great result that is a little rougher. A food processor will give a chunkier result.
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. The soup can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating on the hob/stove or in the microwave.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: British
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 285
- Fat: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 25g
- Protein: 20g
Keywords: soup, pea and ham, lunch, light, starter, easy