People occasionally say that fog is thicker than pea soup. I say they just haven't tried this recipe yet! Not only is this soup incredible delicious but it takes advantage of the available fall and winter root vegetables!
Soak the peas in water for a few hours or overnight (overnight is preferred).
In a lidded casserole dish over a medium heat warm enough oil to cover the base. Throw in half of the onions, parsnips and carrots. Allow them to cook until the onions begin to appear slightly translucent. Add the herbes de Provence, salt and white pepper to taste then allow to cook for another minute together.
Make a little space at the bottom of the pan and add the ham hock. Cover all the ingredients with water but leave a abot 5 to 8cm at the top. Add the beef stock and let the soup simmer on low heat for 6 hours.
Remove the meat from the bone of the ham hock and discard the bone. Separate the rest of the meat into bite-sized pieces and add back into the pot (at this stage you can store the soup in the fridge overnight).
To serve, add the remaining vegetables and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Serve the soup with hearty bread to soak up the soup's stock!