Split Pea soup for you!

Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!
  • This Christmas my mother-in- law hosted Christmas Day dinner.  Once she told us she was having a spiral ham my hubby requested the ham bone for Split Pea soup.  He had the peas already and his recipe pull out that he had made a couple of times before.  On Saturday morning Hubby was looking at the new Fine Cooking magazine that we had received the day before and low and behold a Pea Soup recipe was featured.  He can be adventurous and we had all of the ingredients, so why not try this one.
Our daughter had a basketball game late Saturday afternoon. My sister had recently had surgery and is not able to drive quite yet had asked for a ride to the game.  She is a big fan of the kids basketball games.  We started the soup in the early afternoon and finished it up just before heading out to the game.  I called my sister and told her we would be a few minutes late because we were finishing up the Split Pea soup for dinner.  Hubby asked if she wanted some and her reply was ” I am not a big fan.  Can’t get past the color.”  I am shocked!  We grew up on homemade soups of all sorts.  My parents owned a diner and Dad made soup everyday!  So we filled a bowl for her and her husband to try and off we went.  I am happy to report that we got a text Saturday night that the soup was good!
So if you are hankering for some soup and have a ham bone lying around…. (Or get some ham hocks from the grocery store), give this recipe a try.

  • Ham and Split Pea Soup

  • 1-1/2 lb. smoked ham hocks (1 or 2) (We used  the ham bone from Christmas dinner)
  • 1 lb. (2-1/4 cups) green or yellow split peas, picked over
  • 1 medium leek, white and light-green parts chopped
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 large dried bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne, more to taste
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Rinse the ham hocks (ham bone) and split peas. Combine them in a deep 7- to 8-quart stockpot with 15 cups water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam, and boil for 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to a simmer, add the leek, thyme, and bay leaf, and simmer gently until the peas are falling apart, about 1-1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring with a wooden spatula, until browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the carrots and celery, cover, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and celery are just tender, another 15 minutes.
Transfer the ham hocks to a plate. Add the vegetables to the soup, scraping the skillet with the wooden spatula to release any browned bits. Stir in 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, the cloves, and the cayenne, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Turn the heat off, discard the bay leaf, add the parsley, and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender, working in batches) until smooth.
Cut the skin from the ham hocks, and then remove the meat from the bone, discarding any large pieces of fat. Dice the meat and add it to the soup. Reheat the soup over medium-low heat, simmering and stirring occasionally, until it’s the consistency of heavy cream and pours easily from a ladle, about 10 minutes. Thin with a little water, if necessary. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and cayenne. Serve hot.
Make Ahead Tips
The soup can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. It will thicken as it cools, but will thin again when heated. Reheat slowly, adding water as needed, to prevent the bottom from burning.

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