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!
- 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
- Place split peas in a bowl. Cover with water and soak 8 hours or over night. Drain and set the peas aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place ham bone and chopped ham in the pot with the veggies and cook, stirring, until the pieces of ham begin to brown.
- Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of the water you used to boil the ham bone, along with the bay leaf and thyme.
- 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).
- Discard bay leaf and ham bone.