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Fresh Pea Soup with Ham

© Chris Court

Fresh Pea Soup with Ham


This play on split pea soup gets its vibrant flavor from fresh peas and fennel. The garnish, ham with baby greens and chives, adds a bit of elegance.

Slideshow: More Pea Recipes


  1. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  2. 1 small fennel bulb—thick stalk discarded, bulb thinly sliced

  3. 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

  4. 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  5. Kosher salt

  6. 1 quart whole milk

  7. 4 cups fresh or frozen peas (1 pound), thawed

  8. 1/2 cup diced smoked ham hock (from one 11-ounce ham hock) or smoky ham

  9. 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  10. 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives

  11. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  12. 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

  13. Pea tendrils or baby arugula, for garnish

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Strain it through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Season with salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ham with the shallot, chives, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Spoon the ham salad into the center of 4 bowls. Ladle the warm soup into the bowls, garnish with the pea tendrils and serve immediately.