Split pea and ham soup with ham and cheddar toasties

Pea and ham soup is a classic winter warmer. Here we’ve nabbed a little of the ham hock to serve on the side in the form of cheesy toasted sandwiches.

By Nadia Lim
  • 3 hrs cooking
  • Serves 4
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  • 40 gram butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ham hock (about 1.2kg)
  • 2 1/4 cup (500g) dried green split peas
  • 3 cup frozen baby green peas
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup (firmly packed) mint, plus extra to serve
  • finely grated rind and juice 1/2 lemon, or to taste
Ham and cheddar toasties
  • softened butter, for spreading
  • 8 slice white bread (use gluten-free if required)
  • dijon mustard*, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated vintage cheddar


  • 1
    Heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add onion, fennel and garlic and sauté until tender (about 6-8 minutes). Add ham hock, cover with cold water (about 4 litres), bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Half-cover with a lid and cook until ham is falling from the bone (1-1½ hours). Remove hock, cool, then discard skin and bone. Shred meat and reserve.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, add split peas to the stock and simmer until very tender (45-60 minutes). Add baby peas and simmer until bright green (1-2 minutes). Stir in spinach, parsley and mint to just wilt, then purée with a hand-held blender (or in batches in a blender) until smooth. Stir in lemon rind and juice, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 3
    For the toasties, heat a sandwich press or toastie maker. Butter bread, then place half the slices butter-side down on a work surface. Spread with mustard to taste, top with ham hock (you won't need all the meat; add remainder to soup), then cheese. Season and sandwich with remaining bread butter-side up. Toast until golden brown (3-4 minutes). To serve, scatter soup with extra mint and serve hot with sliced toasties.