Rinse the whole or middle peas in the deep bowl, pouring off the water several times.
Pre-soak the rinsed peas in 6 cups of hot water. The peas should swell. When the water is cooled, rinse the peas one more time.
Cover the soaked peas with 2-3 liters of cold water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 40-60 mins.
Peel, rinse and chop the potatoes, add to the soften peas.
Peel and chop the onion and then brown in frying pan. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot; add to the onion.
Cut the ham and add to the onion with carrots, fry for a further 5 mins. Then add the tomato paste and braise for 3-4 mins more. Put the finished vegetables and ham to pea soup.
Cook soup for 10 mins more with all ingredients combined. Then set aside from heat and let it sit for 20-30 mins. Put it into plate and dress with croutons.