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Split pea and ham soup

This is a hearty and filling soup. Use nice ham/ gammon pieces rather than wafer thin ham slices from the supermarket! 
Ingredients

For the soup:
  • 150g dried yellow split peas, approx
  • splash olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful of sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pint vegetable or gammon/ ham stock
  • fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the croutons:
  • slice or two of slightly stale bread, cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • couple of tablespoons olive oil
  • parmesan cheese
Method
  1. Soak the split peas in a some water for about 20 minutes. Drain and wash them.  
  2. Fry the onion in some olive oil until golden. Add the potato and carrot and stir.  Add the garlic, bay, thyme and split peas and stir to soak up the oil.  
  3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Boil vigorously for about 10 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour until it is all tender.  
  4. Meanwhile prepare the croutons: cube the bread slices and place on a flat oven tray. Mix the olive oil and garlic together. Drizzle over the bread cubes. Grate the parmesan over.  Bake in hot oven for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure all the croutons are covered in oil.  
  5. Garnish the soup with the parsley leaves and serve with the croutons.  
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