Ham and Pea Soup

17 Jun


Gluten-Free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet

PNW friends! I’ll be appearing in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver BC next month, signing books with Sarah Ballantyne and Mickey Trescott! More info on my events page.

Peas are an ancient food, eaten seasonally during the Paleolithic era. They were also one of the first cultivated plants, first grown in Western Asia about 8,000 years ago, and spreading to nearly every major culture from there. Today, there are many reasons to enjoy peas. They are very economical, and frozen sweet peas are one of the cleanest vegetables even when raised conventionally. They’re also very practical, since grabbing a handful of frozen peas from the freezer couldn’t be simpler. This soup is a great example of how convenient the little green guys are; start to finish, you can be enjoying this delicious and deeply flavorful meal in 25 minutes.

The word pea has an interesting origin; it was originally written as pease in English (taken from the ancient Greek pisum), which referred to both the singular and plural forms of peas. People confused the word pease with peas, incorrectly thinking it was plural, and later formed the singular word pea, which eventually became the norm around the 1650s. Pease still exists in some contexts, such as in pease pudding, or the children’s song “Pease Porridge Hot”.

Referring to thick fog as “pea soup” has been around for about 200 years, first used to describe the fog in London.

There is some controversy as to whether peas are “Paleo” since they are legumes. Like green beans, peas are the result of cultivation, and were selectively bred to reduce their toxicity, to the point where they can be eaten (and enjoyed) in their raw state. Theoretically legumes should be avoided, but I’m not one to follow food rules based solely on theory (see: my support of one of those pesky “grain” things, white rice). Personally, until the science definitively proves otherwise, my personal take is that they’re fine. Obviously, if you react poorly to them (or any other food, for that matter), you may want to rethink this approach.

Ham and Pea Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

2 tbsp butter, divided
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups ham stock (or 2 cups each chicken and beef stocks)
~24oz frozen sweet peas (depending on how thick you like your soup)
1 lb ham (I used US Wellness Meats Canadian Bacon ends), coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each)

1. In a saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of the butter over medium heat for a minute, then add the onion and carrot. Sauté until softened, about 6 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the white wine and reduce until the wine is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in the ham stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 minutes to allow the flavors to marry, then add in the peas. Return to a simmer and continue to cook until the peas are tender but before they turn dark green, about 7 minutes.

3. As the peas cook, brown your ham a little. Melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add the ham. Sauté until browned and crispy, turning every couple of minutes, about 6 minutes altogether. Remove from heat.

4. Once the peas are soft, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender if you have one.

5. Finally, return the soup to the saucepan and add all but a small handful of the ham; add salt and pepper to taste. The amount of salt you add will depend on on the saltiness of your broth and the ham. Once the soup tastes delicious, divide the soup into bowls and top with the remaining ham pieces, then serve.

** If you don’t have ham broth/stock on you, never fear: a combination of chicken and beef broths works surprisingly well.

** Some people like to add other dynamics to their soup right before serving, like a drizzle of olive oil, chopped chives, or a bit of cream. All of those are great additions if you’re up for it.

14 Responses to “Ham and Pea Soup”

  1. jonablogs June 17, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Reblogged this on JonaBlogs and commented:
    Looks perfect!

  2. alifemoment June 17, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Loved this soup! :)

  3. primalparkgirl June 17, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Peas are one of my favourite vegetables and one of the first ‘not strict paleo’ things I introduced back into my diet, because I was craving them so much!

  4. Jen June 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Does this ever look good—and with the side benefit of being very easy on the eyes, too!

  5. Dana Lee June 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    Yum! I’ll have to try this. I made a cream of broccoli soup with bacon and it looked just as good as this!

  6. Gerard Pozzi June 20, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Nice recipe and excellent photo!

  7. justagirlfromaamchimumbai June 21, 2014 at 5:53 am #

    So comforting this is :)

  8. Ted Luoma June 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    That bowl of soup looks absolutely perfect! A big fan of split pea soup and the biggest surprise is that my kids will eat it. I have a pound of split peas in the cupboard now. I think I may have to do them up.

  9. zpurkechania June 23, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    Definitely will try! Also the photo looks perfect, loved the color!

  10. Kitchen Delightenment June 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    This looks great! I posted a split pea from scratch recipe last October and I’m looking forward to trying your’s! My favorite addition is a little balsamic vinegar before serving. It really brightens up the flavors. Thanks for sharing! ~Guinevere

  11. johannerafn September 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Yummy! Looks good. I also just posted a recipe on pea soup on my blog, there are so many ways to make this delicious bowl:) Perfect for fall,- now as it’s getting colder.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Domestic Man / Posted on: January 01, 1970The Domestic Man – PNW friends! I’ll be appearing in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver BC next month, […]

  2. What Is Gluten And What Is Pea Soup Fog Aluminum Where Is It | my gluten free diet - September 4, 2014

    […] Ham and Pea Soup | The Domestic Man – Referring to thick fog as “pea soup” has been around for about 200 years, … food history, gluten free, ham, health, jerf, paleo, pea soup, peas, primal, recipe. Comments 11 Comments; … A big fan of split pea soup and the biggest surprise is that my kids will eat it. […]

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