Friday, December 17, 2010

Split Pea and Ham Soup, A Holiday Comfort Food

Around the holidays we traditionally have a ham dinner on Christmas eve and from the leftovers we make this wonderful split pea and ham soup, that even our teenage children love.  My favorite recipe comes from the New Basics Cookbook.

The recipe has a lot of ingredients but it is relatively easy and quick (although, I always cook it about an hour longer than the time called for in the recipe to really break down the peas).  And fresh ingredients are a must for success!  We are careful about our salt intake so we use ham sparingly and don't add salt.  Low-sodium broth helps, or I use my own no-salt broth when I have it on hand.

This recipe is so good I deviate only a little from the original.  

It's even better the second day

Split Pea and Ham Soup
  •  1 lb dried green split peas
  •  5 cups chicken stock
  •  5 cups water
  •  1 meaty ham bone
  •  2 ribs celery, diced
  •  3 tbls chopped fresh Italian parsley
  •  1/2 tsp crumbled, dried tarragon leaves
  •  4 tbls unsalted butter (or olive oil, or half butter and half oil)
  •  1 cup diced peeled carrots (I leave peel)
  •  1 cup diced onion
  •  1 leek, white part only, rinsed and sliced
  •  1 cup slivered fresh spinach leaves
  •  2 tbls dry sherry

    My method: Rinse the split peas in a strainer, and then combine with stock and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the ham bone, celery, 1 tbls of parsley and tarragon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add carrots, onion, and leek. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes, then add to the soup, along with spinach. Simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the soup from the heat, remove the ham bone, and shred the meat from the bone, removing any excess fat. Return the meat to the soup, add sherry, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley. Stir and heat through. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, that looks like a pea soup that I would even enjoy! Thanks for sharing. ;)