Soup Kitchen: Where to Find Margaret River’s Best Soup

Plus the Willow Grill Pea & Ham Soup Recipe

Autumn is here! As the cooler weather approaches, we love bunkering down in the kitchen, cooking and baking. Or if cabin fever sets in, heading out for a nice hot bowl of soup. Comforting and nutritious, and totally delicious.

Keep reading for my Pea & Ham recipe, plus where to find Margaret River’s best soup.

I’m sharing an old favourite – my Pea and Ham Soup recipe, one that often makes an appearance on the menu here at Willow Grill. Soups are super (souper – hah!) easy to make and can be portioned and frozen – for a rainy day.

I’ve got two tips for soup. Firstly, I never add cream to my soups – they actually keep better in the fridge without cream. Secondly, soups don’t need to be blended down. Keep them a bit chunky and they feel like a meal. Soups with lentils or split peas such as this one will naturally thicken as the peas break down.

Pea and Ham Soup – Ingredients

  • 1 ham hock
  • 300g split peas
  • 2 onions
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley


  • Boil ham hock for 1 hour
  • Add the split peas and simmer for another 60 minutes. Do not stir the pot!!
  • Add vegetables at the 60 min mark of cooking the split peas
  • Pull out the ham hock and chop it up  – not too small; and return it to the pot
  • Check for seasoning – generous with pepper
  • Add a bit of parsley

This is a great broth full of body and really satisfying,

Margaret River’s best soup

It’s autumn in Margaret River, and if the weather is overcast or rainy, here’s what I love to do.

Head out for a walk through Boranup Forest, along a stretch of the Cape to Cape track or just have a coffee at the White Elephant Beach Cafe on a wintry day, then head to one of these excellent cafes where you can warm up with a big bowl of soup. Delish!

Cafe Boranup

This place is a little haven tucked away in the forest. We always stop in for a cuppa and a burger/fish n chips/bowl of soup after visiting Lake Cave or Boranup Forest. Look out for blue wrens and black cockatoos and other beautiful wildlife.

You always get a warm welcome from the friendly and accommodating staff. The prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent.


My girls and I lurrrrve Riversmith’s breakfasts – the sweetcorn fritters, banana bread…. but occasionally I pop in around lunch time and get a delicious bowl of soup. Great big windows looking out onto the main stretch make great people watching, and it feels so cosy watching the rain.

The last soup I had here was a tomato-minestrone style concoction with toasted Margaret River Woodfired Bread. Sensational.

Ma La Dumplings

Not a cafe, but a food van often based at the Margaret River Farmers Market on a Saturday morning. They excel at dumplings – beautiful parcels packed with Asian flavour – but the beef broth is sensational too. Just the business on a drizzly Saturday morning – BYO brolly, gumboots and reusable bags so you can shop to your hearts content!

Noshery 6285

It’s at the top of the main strip of Margaret River town. They make a scrumptious pumpkin, carrot and potato soup with really complex flavours – good stuff.

Olio Bello

A little way out of town, closer to Cowaramup Bay, is the luscious Olio Bello. They press their own extra virgin olive oil – a beautiful product – and have a busy little cafe popular with locals. They don’t always have a soup on the menu. Nevermind – grab a big bowl of home made pasta instead. It’s divine.

Loved this guide? Check out some of our other food recommendations;

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