Pea and ham soup is a classic winter warmer.
Here we've nabbed a little of the ham hock to use in the cheesy
jaffles we've served on the side.
40 gmbutter, coarsely chopped2onions, finely chopped1fennel bulb, finely chopped4garlic cloves, finely chopped1ham hock (about 1.2kg)500 gm (2¼ cups)dried green split peas360 gm (3 cups)frozen baby green peas1 cup (firmly packed)baby spinach½ cup (firmly packed)mint, plus extra to serve½ cup (firmly packed)flat-leaf parsleyFinely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon, or to tasteHam and cheddar jafflesSoftened butter, for spreading8slices soft white breadDijon mustard, to taste60 gm (½ cup)coarsely grated vintage Cheddar
Heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add onion, fennel and garlic and sauté until tender (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.
Meanwhile, add split peas to the stock and simmer until very tender (45 minutes to 1 hour). 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.
For the jaffles, heat a jaffle maker. Butter bread slices, 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 to taste and sandwich with remaining bread butter-side up. Toast in jaffle maker until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Scatter soup with extra mint and serve hot with jaffles.