Place the ham in a large pot and cover with cold water (roughly 1 - 2 litres), add the peppercorns and the halved onion. Bring the water to the boil, scum will float to the surface so skim this off. Then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 ¼ hours.
Meanwhile, finely chop the leeks, carrots and celery. Heat some oil in a pan and add the vegetables, crushed garlic and a bay leaf. Slowly sauté the mix for approximately 15 – 20 minutes until it is soft but has no caramelisation.
Once the ham hock is cooked, remove from the water with tongs and place on a board and allow to cool slightly. Reserve 300ml of the cooking water and then drain off the rest. Return this large pan to the stove and add your sautéed vegetables. Gently heat and add 500ml chicken stock and the reserved ham water. Let this simmer for approximately 10 minutes until it has thickened and reduced slightly. Discard the fat and bones from the ham hock and then shred the meat.
Finally add the peas and chopped parsley and mint to the soup mix and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Check the seasoning and then divide the soup between the bowls and top with the shredded ham. Serve with warm crusty bread.