Thursday, July 13, 2017

Old fashioned Split Pea Soup with Ham

Split pea soup seems to have vanished from the landscape of the home kitchen, as well as, restaurant menus.  Could it be because of its lack luster look?  Will this deliciously comforting soup become extinct due to its murky green swamp like appearance, or is it simply the oink factor?  Questions, questions?

I found it quite interesting when I discovered that split pea soup has been around for centuries dating back to around 500 BC. Vendors in the streets of Athens sold it as "hot pea soup".  My question is who brought it to Hawaii because that's where I learned to love it.

In my kitchen, split pea soup mingles at the top of the list simply because it just tastes so dang good. It’s easy to put together and needs only a handful of ingredients that simmer into a velvety soup. It’s packed with flavor and brings out expressions of joy to those whom I share it with.

My notes to you…
I cut my potatoes and carrots very small, wanting them to break down and add body to the soup. However, if you like chunky split pea soup you can cut them larger.  This soup will thicken as it cools. If it gets too thick, add chicken broth to get your desired consistency.

The ham shanks that I have seen lately have very little meat on them and after a couple of hours of stewing the meat gets stringy. Don’t get me wrong, I chop what’s there and add it to my soup but I also add about 1 cup of chopped ham after its done cooking to give it a more tender haminess.

This soup freezes well and I usually freeze it in individual portions.

Split Pea Soup with Ham
1          pound            split peas (2 ¼ cups)
8          cups               water
1          med.              ham shank
1          whole             bay leaf
1          tsp.                 kosher salt
½         tsp.                 black pepper
1          med.               carrot, diced small
1          med.               potato, diced small
1          med.               onion, chopped small
2          stalks              celery-leafy tops too, chopped small
2          cloves             garlic, minced
1          cup                 chopped ham

In a large stock pot, add about 1 -2 Tbsp. oil and sauté onion, celery, garlic until soft and fragrant.

Add water, split peas, ham shank, bay leaf, carrot, potato, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer covered for 1 ½ - 2 hours.

Remove ham bone and cut away the meat, give it a rough chop and add it back to the soup. Stir in chopped ham.

1 comment:

  1. I use very large, meaty ham hock and either make split pea or blackeye Pea :) It's what my mother cooked on the stove and I switch to slow cooker when I was on my own.

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