not your average pea soup

10 Jan

It has finally been cold here… today is registering at a whopping 6 degrees. And glorious snow!

On a chilly evening at work I was really craving some thick and tasty split pea soup. I picked up a can of Amy’s split pea soup on my break and ran home to warm the baby up. In the past, I have ALWAYS been happy with their food products so I thought this one would be a knock-out. Needless to say, this can left much to the imagination. It was watery, bland and generally disappointing. It’s so unlike Amy! It must have been an off-day for her.

Luckily, with a ham bone left over from the holidays, I was prepared to put together a hearty bowl that fills the belly and warms the soul.

Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes

Unfortunately it does not photograph well, but remember, don’t judge it by its looks.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb. bone-in picnic ham OR ham bone and ham slices leftover from a holiday meal
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. split peas
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium celery stalks
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch sugar
  • 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into a medium dice

Method:

Place ham, bone and bay leaves in a large pot or soup kettle. Cover with 3 quarts of water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is tender and pulls away from the bone, 2.5 to 3 hours. Add more water if necessary.

Cut onions, carrots and celery into large pieces and place in a food processor.

Pulse until vegetables are finely chopped.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add chopped veggies and saute, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid evaporates and vegetables begin to brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium low and add butter, garlic and sugar.

Cook vegetables, stirring frequently, until deeply browned, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham meat and bone from broth.

Add split peas and thyme to broth and simmer until peas are tender but not dissolved, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, when ham is cool enough to handle, shred meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding rind and bone.

Add sauteed vegetables, potatoes, and shredded ham to soup.

Simmer until potatoes are tender and the peas dissolve to thicken the soup to the consistency of light cream, about 20 minutes more. Season with ground black pepper. 

Cuddle up with a blanket, a good book and a cup of this soup. 

You may not want to go anywhere for quite some time, though, so please take this into consideration.

Kaleigh

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