Saturday, April 21, 2012

Split Pea and Ham Soup

This is a re-do of my split pea soup recipe I posted back in 2008. Since that time, I have actually written down my measurements, taken better photos, and have provided more substitution ideas to accommodate preferences in making this fabulous bowl of goodness! Of all of the soups out there, this one tops my list of favorite soups. I especially look forward to it after Easter when I make a ham. I believe that this soup can be full of surprises. In fact, when people tell me this is not a soup they would look forward to eating, they are speaking from their past experiences that have included their soup coming from a can, cafeteria, or their aunt Fae. None of which can compare to homemade split pea soup.

A little bit about dried peas; they are a great staple food and can be kept for a long time in your food storage. Like Lentils, they do not require soaking. They are a great source of vitamins and making baby food with them is a must. As far as cooking, you can substitute them in anything that calls for peas (after they are cooked of course).

I try to make it count when I make this soup which means a big batch. Then I can freeze it for later times when no one will eat this soup but me ;). However, this soup is not a lot of work and very easy to make. 

Homemade Split Pea Soup

1 pound of dried Peas
1 large Ham bone*
(with most of the meat off of it)
1  small Onion
4 stalks of Celery
4 Carrots, peeled
4 cloves of Garlic, smashed*
5 sprigs of fresh Parsley*
4 sprigs of fresh Thyme*
 2-3 small dried Bay leaves*
4+ cups of water
4+ cups of chicken stock*
1-2 cups of ham, cubed*
1 cup of Plain Yogurt*
Kosher salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients:
1-2  Potatoes*
1 cup Cauliflower, pureed
1 cup of Pumpkin, pureed
Potato Flakes if needed to thicken
Milk to thin out if needed

Step #1-Wash Peas

 Always wash and short dried peas.
You never know if there is a rock or something in with your peas.
Wash thoroughly in a strainer.

Step # 2- Assemble Soup Based

Whether you use a cast iron pot (which I recommend) or a stock pot, just make sure that have a pot tall enough to hold all your ingredients plus 8 cups of fluid. Because this is a pureed soup, you don't have to chop up your ingredients as much as you think. Especially the carrots because I like to take out most of the carrots to cube and put back into the soup. If your peas are really old, you may soak your peas before hand.You can also use your pressure cooker to cook this soup base in half the time.

Put peas, carrots, onions, celery, garlic and ham bone in the pot.

Add Liquid
Add 4 cups of water and 4 cups of chicken stock. I like to use my pre-made chicken stock cubes I keep in the freezer.

Place herbs: Parsley, Thyme, and Bay leaves on top.

Step # 3- Cook for 1-2 Hours

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1-2 hours or until peas are done. You may need to add more water and/or stock as the water reduces. You will know the peas are ready when they look like they are falling apart or they are softer. They don't have to mush in your finger to be done.

Step #4- Make your Puree

Take out ham bone, bay leaves, and most of the carrots (if desired). You may also take out the rest of the fresh herbs or puree them with the rest of the soup.

Puree with an immersion blender or put soup into a food processor or blender.

Step # 5- Add Additional Ingredients

Add your ham, carrots, yogurt, salt, pepper and any optional ingredients. Mix in.

This recipe does make a lot. I freeze my leftovers in individual quart sized freezer bags for later times. This soup will be thick when you need to re-heat it. Just add some water or milk to it and it will be perfect again. Enjoy!

*Ham bone and ham- if no ham bone use, regular cubed ham or no ham at all.
*Garlic- If no fresh garlic, use 2 teaspoons of garlic powder or dried garlic.
*Parsley and Thyme-If no fresh, use frozen or use 1 Tablespoon of each dried
*Bay leaf- Use one large fresh bay leaf in place of 2-3 small dried.
*Chicken Stock- If no chicken stock, use water with chicken soup base in it. If you are going for vegetarian soup, just use water or vegetable stock.
*Yogurt- You can use sour cream, whole cream, canned or fresh milk. You can also omit this if you have a milk allergy.

* Potatoes- If you are wondering about cooking the potatoes and carrots, I will either put them in with the soup base until they are done and scoop them back out before the peas are done although it is easier to put them in a cheese cloth so everything comes out at once (careful not to leave them in too long or you will just have to puree them with the peas).You can always cook them on the side and add them to the soup or used canned or frozen carrots and potatoes from you food storage.

Does anyone even like Split Pea Soup?
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Fuji Mama said...

I LOVE split pea soup. I just made a big pot of it last week in fact! It was gone way too quickly because my hubby and daughter love it too. I'm going to have to try your recipe!

mndnlsn said...

I have to admit, I have never had split pea soup from anywhere but a can. As you might guess, I don't think I like it. But this recipe sounds right up my alley. I am going to try it the next time it rains.

Nichole said...

I just made split pea soup two days ago...i didn't have ham, i like chucks of onion and carrots in mine. I also used half beef broth and half chicken broth, makes for a really rich delicious flavor. Yours looks great!

Anonymous said...

Ive never really enjoyed split pea soup. But this one looks lighter and freash. I might just have to try it now.
Love ya,

Lindsay said...

This looks so good! and your pictures make it look even better. I will ave to try making this soon.

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