As winter approaches here in Northern Wales, I look forward to experimenting and trying my hand with local ingredients. On Sunday it was soup time….
Place the ham hock in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, drain and set the ham to one side.
Heat some olive oil (4 glugs/tbsp) in the same saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the carrots (4 medium sized, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced), 1 diced celery heart and onion (3 medium) and garlic. Fry for 20-25 min until soft and aromatic, stirring occasionally.
Rince the 500g split peas (500g sloaked from the previous night) and add them to the pan. At this point if you have a slow cooker, you’d transfer the contents of the saucepan. Add 2.5 litres water, the ham hock, bay leaf and 1 small dried chilli.
Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for about an hour. Cover and simmer for another hour. Remove the ham from the pan, peel off the rind (if it had one) and shred the flesh off the bone with a fork. Add this to the pan and season to taste with salt (the stock might be quite salty already from the ham). Serve in warm bowls splashed with oil and scattered with parsley.