Hearty Split Pea Soup

Soups and stews seem to be the theme lately. Appropriate because it is so cold and its the only thing that sounds good at this time of year.

This is my mom’s recipe that she got from somebody else. It legitimately converted me to split pea soup, even as a kid. This is more like a pea stew, with lots of vegetables. It’s very hearty. She typically did not make it with ham, but I love ham, so I included it. This is a pretty cheap recipe, but does take a few extra ingredients. For example, I had to get a ham bone from the butcher. When I went, he said, “Just get a ham shank!”. It cost about 5 dollars, but ended up being well worth it. You will obviously have to pick up split peas as well. Otherwise, pretty simple. Only other concern is that you have to remember to soak the split peas for 6 hours (when you wake up in the morning) and it takes a good hour and a half to make. However, I found it worth the wait, and it lasts a few days in a tupperware. The only exception I made to the recipe was that I used two cups of chicken stock and two cups of water, and left out the dill (I don’t like dill) Enjoy!

Split Pea Soup with Fresh Peas and Potatoes

(My mom’s note) My daughter’s second grade class had a hot lunch program where parents took turns bringing hot soup and bread to school for the children’s lunch.  This soup, created by Lee Carrillo, was one of their favorites. It is fine to leave out the bone to make this a vegetarian soup.  The vinegar is added to pull minerals from the bone into the broth.

1 cup green split peas, soaked 4-6 hours

1 tablespoon butter or extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1–2 teaspoons sea salt

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 small red potatoes, cubed

1 teaspoon cumin

Black pepper, freshly ground

4 cups water or vegetable stock

1 large bay leaf

1 small ham bone (optional)

2 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar

½ cup fresh or frozen peas

1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

Soak peas 4-6 hours in 4 cups of water.  This will help digestibility, quicken cooking time and improve the texture of the soup.  Discard soaking water before adding.

Heat fat in a pressure cooker or soup pot. Add onions and salt and sauté until onions begin to soften. Add celery, carrot, potatoes, cumin, and pepper; sauté 3-4 minutes more. Add split peas, water, and bay leaf. Add ham bone and vinegar if using. If pressure-cooking: bring up to pressure on high heat, then lower heat, and cook 40 minutes.If using soup pot: bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 60–90 minutes. Once split peas have softened and the soup has become creamy, remove ham bone. Cut off any meat, discard skin and bone, dice meat into small pieces, and add to soup with fresh or frozen peas and dill. Check seasonings; add more salt and pepper if needed. Continue cooking a few minutes until fresh or frozen peas are tender. Soup is ready to serve.

Preparation time:  50 minutes (pressure-cooked), 1 hour 45 minutes (soup pot)

Makes 4 servings

This ham shank was soooo good.

You just cut the ham off the bone and add it back to the soup..

I was thinking about trying to make polenta next. Or maybe chicken noodle soup. Any suggestions?

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