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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Sundays in The Kitchen: Classic Split Pea & Ham Soup

I LOVE soup.  It is probably one of my favourite things to eat and to cook.  There is nothing better than a bowl of homemade soup on a chilly evening, when you're not feeling well or just because :)  One of my faves is Split Pea with Ham.  I have been making it for a few years and have finally perfected my recipe.  It is simple and delicious :)

Ingredients: 

1 bone from cooked ham - I always use the bone from my mother-in-law's holiday hams :)
1 tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped * 
2 each of carrots & celery stalks, finely chopped *
2 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 cups sodium-reduced chicken stock
2 cups dry green or yellow split peas
salt & pepper to taste
*I like to use a mini food processor

Preparation:

Using a paring knife, peel off and discard skin and fat from ham bone.  Set aside. 
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves and ham bone; stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened.  About 5 minutes.  
Add stock, peas and 2 cups of water.  Bring to boil over med-high heat, skimming off any foam from the top. Cover and simmer over med-low heat until peas break down and meat is tender enough to fall off of the bone; about 2 hours.
Remove ham bone.  Pull off and shred meat.  Set meat aside.  Discard ham bone and bay leaves.  In a blender, puree half of the soup; return to the pot along with meat.  Stir and serve! Makes 8 servings.

Some tips:  If you are going to put this soup in the freezer or even the fridge, reconstitute it with a wee bit of water or even chicken stock as it really thickens up.  I also don't add any salt as the ham tends to be salty enough.

I like to serve it with some crispy ham and a wee dollop of sour cream on top :)  ENJOY!  Let me know if you try it out and your results.





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