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Friday, February 27, 2015

(EASY) Hearty Split Pea and Ham Soup

  Winter is really giving us something to talk about this year here in lovely New Hampshire.  It is COLD outside. There is a @#%^ ton of SNOW every where you look. And there is even icicles hanging from any possible place they can hang from. It is just hard core Winter time.  That is that.  All we can do it complain, pretend to like it, bundle up, lather on lots of lotion to remedy our dry skin, crank up the humidifiers and eat LOTS of soup.  We have to survive it some how! 

 Split Pea and Ham Soup has always been a favorite of mine.  It is delicious, filling and plain old comforting. Believe it or not this was the first time I ever made it.  I have made many a soup in my adventures in the kitchen but not a split pea soup.  I was delighted with this recipe as it is super simple,  foul proof (especially if you follow the directions) and can easily be adjusted to your liking.  If you don't like carrots go ahead an omit them - just add in more of another veggie.  If you wish to keep the soup vegetarian no worries - use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken and replace the ham meat with more vegetables.   I chose to make my broth with a nice big meaty ham bone.  I placed the ham bone in a large pot and covered it with good water (such as filtered or spring water).  I then brought the water to a nice gentle boil and then simmered it for about an hour to get all the flavor possible out of the bone.  Bones truly do give off the best flavor for a broth in my opinion. If you would like to keep things super simple for this soup go ahead and skip the ham bone and toss in some nice bouillon cubes of your choice into good water. 

So please,  join me in warming your bones and embracing the rest of this looooong WINTER to the fullest and make a pot of this soup.  Your bones will be happy as will your tummy.

Hearty Split Pea and Ham Soup
(recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home)

*1 large meaty ham bone
good water (spring or filtered) - enough to cover bone completely plus more to make 8 full cups
1 16oz. bag or 2 cups dried split peas
2 medium onions - chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 cups chopped ham
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried marjoram
3 chicken bouillon cubes (6 cubes if you don't use a ham bone to make the broth)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt 
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish/topping


*If want to make your broth with the ham bone* - place ham bone in a large pot and cover with good water. Bring to a gentle boil and then lower heat to simmer for another 30-60 minutes.  Remove bone from water and set aside to cool. Once bone is cool enough to handle cut off any meat that is not too fatty and add to soup.  Measure broth and then add in additional water to make 8 cups of liquid. ~ If you chose not to make your broth with a bone just add in 8 cups of water and 6 bouillon cubes along with the rest of the ingredients of the soup ~

Pour the 8 cups of liquid back into your large pot along with all the remaining ingredients.  Stir well and bring to boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook soup for at least 1 hour or until all veggies are tender and soup is thick. Adjust seasoning if you wish and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a piece of yummy bread on the side.  Enjoy! 

 Happy Hearty Split Pea and Ham Soup Making!

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