Friday, November 4, 2011

Split Pea and Ham Soup

I have not posted many soup recipes as I don't really follow a recipe when making soup. I use other recipes as guidelines, but for the most part I just "wing it!" lol

When I cook a bone-in ham I always freeze the bone to make soup with. If you don't have one you can substitute ham hocks from the grocery store.This recipe is fairly loose :) You might need to adjust amounts to suit the size of your ham bone.

Start by making a flavourful stock.
Place ham bone in large stock pot and add 12 cups of water.
Then add the following ingredients:
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, again, roughly chopped
1 onion, with the skin still on, quartered. If it's dirty rinse it off. Leaving the skin on darkens the colour of the stock
2 garlic cloves, sliced
several peppercorns or fresh pepper if that's all you have
1 bay leaf

Allow to simmer uncovered for about 2 hours till liquid has reduced by about 1/3. Remove ham bone and discard. Strain stock and throw away vegetables.
Place stock into large bowl or measuring cup and set aside. You should have about 8 cups total. If not, add water or chicken stock to make 8 cups

Now lets make the soup :)
In same stock pot heat
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of butter
then add
3 large carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Cook, stirring till onions are translucent
Add 2 cups green split peas and the stock.
Add some salt and pepper to taste...

1 cup of ham to add after blending (if you choose to blend)

Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat and cook stirring often for about 1 1/2 -2 hours or till peas are soft. Remove bay leaf and throw away.
The soup can also be eaten as is, or you can place in blender or use immersion blender right in stock pot. It's very versatile.
Once you have finished blending, if you chose to do so, then add in about 1 cup cubed ham. Again, more or less depending on what you have. Simmer till ham is warmed through. I like to garnish the bowls with a few croutons and a little fresh parsley.