Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Split Pea and Ham Soup

This is one of the best recipes I have made for Split Pea soup.   It is very flavorful and so worth it.  
  I will be preparing it today.

Split Pea and Ham Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
table salt
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
7 cups water or ham stock
1 ham steak (about i pound, skin removed, cut into quarters
3 sliced thick-cut bacon (about 4 ounces)
1 pound green split peas (about 2 cups), picked through and rinsed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 medium celery rib, cut into 1/2 pieces (about 1 cup)
Ground black pepper

Heat butter in large dutch oven over medium high heat.   When foaming subsides, add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly about 3-4 minutes.   Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.    Add water, ham steak, bacon, peas, thyme and bay leaves and bring to simmer, stirring frequently to keep peas from sticking to bottom.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until peas are done, about 45 minutes.

Remove ham steak, cover with foil or plastic wrap to prevent drying out and set aside.  Stir in carrots and celery;  continue to simmer vegetables are tender and peas have almost completely broken down, about 30 minutes longer.

When cool enough, to handle, shred ham into small bite-sized pieces with 2 forks.   Remove and discard thyme sprigs, bay leaves.   Add ham back into soup and return to simmer.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If your soup gets too thick, add water.   If too thin, remove lid and simmer till thickened.

Here are some of my personal changes:   I do not use water, instead I use ham stock which give this a heartier base.  If I do not have enough ham stock, then I will add water and if needed ham bouillon.  I never add salt when I am cooking anything, I will wait until the end to adjust if necessary.   I also use regular bacon, instead of the thick cut.  
Ham steak???  I have the shank bone with meat on left from Easter that I use instead.

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