Split pea soup is open to a lot of interpretation. To blend or not to blend seems to be at the top of the list. Some soups are best pureed and smooth, but we like our split pea with a bit of texture. We split the difference and pureed a portion of the soup, leaving some whole. If your ham bone is coming from a spiral cut ham after a Holiday dinner, don’t clean off your ham bone too well. Leave some extra meat on it so that you’ll have pieces of ham in your soup. If you don’t plan to make the soup right away, you can easily freeze the ham bone for later. If you don’t have a ham bone, other options include using a ham-hock from your local butcher or a ham steak. With a loaf of crusty bread and a small salad, split pea soup is perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
|Prep Time: 20-30 minutes|
|Cook Time: 1 hour|
|Notes: Freezes Well|
1 pound (2 cups) dried green split peas
4 bacon slices, cut into strips
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
10 cups (2 1/2 quarts) cold water or chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1 large potato, chopped
1 ham bone
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place peas into a large bowl and cover with cold water 3 inches above the peas; soak overnight.
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp; 4-5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan and cook until the onion is translucent; about 5 minutes.
- Return the bacon to the pot and add the water.
- Drain and rinse the split peas; add them to the pot.
- Add thyme, bay leaves, potato, and ham bone; bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.
- Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaves.
- Remove the ham bone and any detached pieces of meat and set aside. Cut off any remaining meat on the bone and set aside.
- Remove 2 cups of soup and set aside. Ideally, use an immersion blender to purée the rest of the soup right in the pot. You can use a stand up blender but be very careful with the hot liquid. Place unblended soup and ham pieces back into the pot. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
SERVING: Ladle into soup bowls, and serve with a loaf of crusty bread.
STORING: Refrigerate in an airtight container and the soup will last 2-3 days.