Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup
From Emeril Lagasse

I am officially, WAY behind on posts.  Like, 5 recipes in my drafts box, 3 more on my camera that haven’t even been typed up yet, and dinner tonight was a big winner, compounding the problem in a most delicious way.  Hopefully I can get my act together and start pounding out posts this week, starting with this one from the day after Easter.

For the first year ever, I finally had the wherewithal to snag the left over bone from our Easter ham.  I actually said no at first, but when everyone else also declined and I watched that hunk of flavor veer towards the garbage I suddenly felt compelled to give it a second chance at life.  Or at least try.  For some reason I think I was kind of nervous about this classic post-holiday dish.  A concern that, of course, turned out to be totally silly.  This soup is Good.  Capital G good.  We happily ate it every day for a week.  In fact, my only ham bone-related fear these days is that most of my family members read this blog, and I’m afraid they might start fighting me for the bone at the next holiday!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb dried split peas
  • 1 ham bone (leftover from a spiral ham)
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb ham (we used leftover honey baked spiral ham), chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Preparation

  1. Place split peas in a bowl.  Cover with water and soak 8 hours or over night.  Drain and set the peas aside.
  2. Use a paring knife to score the ham bone (John did this step, and he described it as “poking holes in it”).  Place the bone in a large pot with at least 5 cups of water, more if needed to submerge the bone.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.  Drain, reserving the water and the ham bone separately.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook 2 minutes, stirring.  Add celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Place ham bone and chopped ham in the pot with the veggies and cook, stirring, until the pieces of ham begin to brown.
  5. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  6. Add 4 cups of the water you used to boil the ham bone, along with the bay leaf and thyme.
  7. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender, about 1 hour.  If it gets too thick add more ham water or plain water (we ended up adding an extra cup at the end).
  8. Discard bay leaf and ham bone.

Serves 8.

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