To boil or bake – that is the question with ham. The correct answer is probably to do a bit of both. The point of boiling a ham it seems to me is not so much that it is the optimal cooking method (though it does leave a nicely moist joint if done properly) but that the resulting stock is so damn lovely. Buying a joint of ham means you can, in theory, eat pea nad ham soup for the rest of the week. Which is exactly what I will be doing.

The most basic recipe is literally to bung some split peas into the stock and the simmer for about an hour. You can add a few veggies to add to the flavour, celery as always boils to nothing but gives it a good bit of extra volume. And watch the saltiness, this is a soup which does not need salting whilst cooking, and if it is over-salty reach for the potato. But in the end there is no better smell than home made pea’n’ham soup filling the house as it bubbles away. And since peanam is supposed to be thick and lumpy, you don’t even need a blender for it.