It's hard to beat Pea and ham soup on a cold night. To make this winter favourite you'll need a smoked ham hock, split peas, a mirepoix of onion, carrot, celery, leek and garlic, chicken stock, and herbs bay, thyme, coriander and parsley and salt and pepper to taste. For a bit of spice add dried chilli flakes. Heat some butter in a large saucepan, add the mirepoix and cook till soft and aromatic. Add the ham hock, bay leaves, thyme and split peas. Increase heat to high, add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer, partially covered until the peas are soft. Remove the hock, and take the meat off the bone and reserve. Puree the soup, return the meat, bring to a boil and add the coriander and parsley.

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