I know many people are fond of the old classic, Pea & Ham soup. Although I don’t have anything against it, I wanted to update it slightly and play around with the flavours a bit more. I think the combination of split peas with the smoky ham is always a good one, but I wanted to see how the flavours would be enhanced by using roasted pork instead. I also added carrots and potatoes to give the soup a bit more body and also took the soup from the muted green that most people are used to into a winter-friendly warm orange. I think my family preferred this as most of the men would not have liked a bowl of thick, green soup for dinner. For convenience, I used Woolworths’ Split Pea soup pack. I suggest you try to find one of these (I’m sure one of the other major supermarkets will have a similar soup pack) as it’s so quick and easy and you don’t have to bother with soaking dried split peas and all that.
I used a 1kg pork leg roast and used half of it for the roasting, and the other half in the actual soup to add beautiful meaty flavours to the stock. I decided to use some of Verlaque’s Passion fruit infused Balsamic Reduction to roast the pork in but if you don’t have this, you can use 1 cup fruit juice (passion fruit, orange or apricot would be best) with 2 tbsn balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Although, I would suggest you venture into the Verlaque range if you haven’t before. Their reductions and infused reductions are incredibly delicious and make excellent marinades, salad dressings and sauces. I am obsessed with their Lemon Olive oil and just love drizzling it over salad.
I also decided to remove the pork used in the stock and blend the soup. This resulted in a silky, creamy soup with shredded pork here and there…absolutely delicious. Served with crusty bruschetta and an extra drizzle of cream, this is just the thing to fight off the icy temperatures we are experiencing at the moment!
1kg pork leg roast, halved
1 cup Verlaque Passion fruit infused Balsamic reduction
2 tsp salt
2 large leeks, washed and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (800g) split pea soup pack
2 garlic cloves
1tbsp smoked paprika
2l chicken stock
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Place 1 half of the pork roast in a roasting tray. Pour over the balsamic reduction and sprinkle with salt. Cover with foil and allow to roast at 140°c for 3 hours or until the meat falls apart.
- In a large pot, fry the leeks, carrots and potatoes in 3tbsn olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the soup pack contents, smoked paprika and the garlic and allow to fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add the other half of the pork roast (fat removed) and cover with chicken stock. Add the bay leaves and pepper and cover. Don’t add salt at this stage.
- Allow the soup to boil for 1 1/2 hours-2 hours or until the pork is cooked through and falls apart.
- Remove the pork from the soup and blend the soup until fine.
- Shred both the roasted pork as well as the soup pork and stir into the soup with the pan juices from the roast pork, the cream, parsley and salt to taste.
- Serve with crusty bread and pork crackling.