Ham gives the sweet, slightly grainy peas a salty tang in this classic soup.
500g bacon or ham bones
2 cups green split peas
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 litres cold water
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 sprig of thyme
1. Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil then partly cover and simmer for about 1½ hours or until the peas are tender.
2. Remove the bay leaf and the bacon bones. Cut any meat off the bones and dice it.
3. Purée the soup with a wand blender or in a food processor and adjust the seasoning. If it is too thick, add a little water. Return the soup to the pan and the meat to the soup.
4. Reheat and serve with Croûtons.