Soup of the Week: Mum’s Moreish Pea & Ham Soup

Eat Canberra

Some of you might not know this but my mum is the owner and cook at Jalla’s Café, a homestyle café in the small country town of Woodford, Queensland. Woodford is near where I grew up and mum has been running the business with her partner Brett for more than 10 years. People come from near and far to eat at Jalla’s and Mum’s Pea & Ham Soup is one of Jalla’s customers many favourite dishes in winter.

She was visiting Canberra on her annual trip last weekend and wanted to buy us a big stock pot and pressure cooker. So we went shopping and she was so excited to find a big stock pot (16 litres) so she could whip up a big batch of soup for us.

“Mum! There are only two of us, we don’t need a giant stock pot, you’re not cooking for the cafe or for our big family and we don’t have the room,” I had to remind her.

I come from a family of five girls and I have two nieces and one nephew plus everyone’s partners. So mum usually cooks big dinners for the family or big batches of food for the hungry customers at the cafe. With some negotiation and subtle reminders that we didn’t need such a big pot, we settled on the 6L pressure cooker because we already had decent size stock pots at home.

Mum usually lets her soup cook all day at the cafe in a REALLY BIG stock pot and she had never cooked the soup in a pressure cooker before. So I talked her into giving it a go! I don’t have a lot of time on my hands so the quicker, the better for me. We cooked it in two batches and the end result was great. It wasn’t completely falling off the bone like it usually does when mum cooks it all day in the stock pot  but it was easily pulled off the bone once it cooked down.

I asked her if she would mind if I shared the recipes with you and I was thrilled when she said she didn’t – thanks mum! I given you two options so you can cook it in the stock pot or the pressure cooker.

Here it is, the simple and oh so delicious recipe for Mum’s Moreish Pea & Ham Soup.

What you need:

1 good quality ham hock (ask your local butcher to cut it in 3 pieces)

1-1.5kg bacon bones from your local butcher

1 packed of green split please, rinsed (about 375g)

2 medium brown onions, roughly diced

6-8 large carrots, roughly diced

1 large sweet potato, roughly diced in to large chunks


What now:

  1. Add all the ingredients except for the carrots and sweet potato into the large stock pot or pressure cooker (if you are cooking in the pressure cooker you might need to do it in two batches or half the recipe). Pour in enough water so everything is covered.
  2. If you’re cooking in a stock pot then simmer for one hour on low-medium heat. Add diced carrots and simmer for another hour. Add sweet potato and simmer until the meat falls off the bone.
  3. If you’re cooking the soup in a pressure cooker add all the ingredients except for the carrots and sweet potato and set it to ‘soup’. When it’s finished add the carrots and sweet potato and put the soup on again. This will ensure the vegetables don’t completely disintegrate. When it’s been on twice it should be ready.
  4. Once the soup is cooked take out the bones and ham hock. Let the ham hock cook and take the meat off then bone. Add the meat back in the soup and you’re ready to eat. The soup will thicken once refrigerated. Serve it with crusty bread or toast – Enjoy!

This recipe will make 10+ serves and will need to be made in a 16L stock pot or it can be cooked in two smaller pots. Half the recipe if you want to make a smaller batch.

TIP: If you have leftovers then freeze the soup in serving sized containers so you can pull it out and have it for dinner or lunch when you don’t have time to cook.