* 500 g or 1lb split green peas
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 1 large carrot, finely chopped
* 1 celery stick, finely chopped
* 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
* 1 litre water
* 225g or 8 oz lean smoked ham, finely diced
* ¼ tsp dried thyme
* ¼ tsp dried marjoram
* 1 bay leaf
* salt and pepper
1. Rinse the peas under cold running water. Put them in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil and boil for three minutes, skimming off the foam from the surface. Drain the peas.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally, until just softened.
3. Add the carrot and celery and continue cooking for two minutes
4. Add the peas, pour over the stock and water and stir to combine.
5. Bring just to the boil and stir the ham into the soup. Add the thyme, marjoram and bay leaf. Reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for one hour and 30 minutes, until the ingredients are very soft. Remove the bay leaf.
5. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve.