Split Pea and Ham Soup
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Winter had really locked in here in the Smokey Mountains—hitting about 5 degrees for several days in a row. That calls for some seriously hearty comfort food.
Luckily, I made a ham several nights ago and had some leftovers in the fridge, along with a fresh batch of ham stock to use up. A few veggies and a little simmering later, we had wonderfully hearty, filling, and warming split pea and ham soup.
The first note I'd like to give you is that you don't need ham stock at all. If you have it, great! If not, it's great! Seriously. It's fine. Use chicken stock or just plain water. If I don't have ham stock, I'll usually use plain water. With the ham stock, the ham flavor comes through really well and becomes the dominant note. Without it, you have the less rich, but equally luscious flavor of the veggies and split peas coming through more strongly. So it's really your preference.
This batch also feeds a crowd—you'll easily get 8 generous and filling servings from this recipe.
Dried beans and peas do take a little simmering—you can shorten this time by soaking the split peas in hot water for an hour or so before cooking, but usually I would just as soon throw it together when I'm ready for it. Unlike other beans, split peas can't really take an overnight soak—that ends up being too much.
Simmer until the beans are tender—and this can be your preference as well. I like the beans to have some texture and to keep their individual shapes. But I know just as many folks who like them much softer, so the soup ends up with a creamier texture. That's fine too—you can even puree part of the soup if you like.
I think this soup is perfect with a big salad full of leafy greens, and a loaf of crusty bread. Or maybe a skillet of cornbread—whatever you choose, you'll love this seriously warming split pea soup with ham!
- 1/2 medium white onion, small dice
- 1 stalk celery, small dice
- 1 carrot, small dice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound green split peas
- 1 quart ham broth
- 1 quart water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized soup pot. Saute onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf in the olive oil for about ten minutes, or until nice and fragrant.
- Add the split peas to the sauteed vegetables. Add ham broth and water, kosher salt and diced ham. Bring pot to a simmer, and simmer for just about an hour and a half, or until split peas are tender to the bite. Adjust for salt and pepper and serve with hot crusty bread.
Let's Talk Broth
I love using ham broth for this soup, which I often have when I also have leftover ham to dice up and throw in. The flavor is often really strong, so I use half ham broth and half water. But you can use whatever you like best. Vegetable broth works really well, as does chicken broth. But when I don't have ham broth, I will usually just use all water for this recipe, keeping the flavors, simple and clean.
Carrot, Onion and Celery
A Little Olive Oil
Saute Veggies for About 10 Minutes
Add Split Peas and Broth
Add Broth and Water
Add Diced Ham
Bring to a Simmer
Serve with Crusty Bread
How to Make Ham Broth or Ham Stock
© 2018 Jan Charles