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How to Make Split Pea Soup with Ham

How to Make Split Pea Soup with Ham

(6 to 10 servings)

For many cooks, split pea soup is a priceless opportunity to use the bone from a roasted ham that has already provided slices for one or more meals. Without laboring over the bone to remove every last scrap of meat, the thrifty and busy cook can cook the bone in soup to add delicious flavor and help loosen all the bits of meat from the bone. After cooking, plan to remove and cool the bone and cut off the meat which will probably be in the form of bite-size pieces. Transfer the meat back to the soup for serving. Split pea soup is served traditionally with corn bread or corn muffins and a crunchy salad or raw vegetables. Add jam or honey to the cornbread for dessert if desired.

1 pound dried green split peas

2 ½ quarts cold water

1 ham bone with meat

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup shredded carrot

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Chopped fresh parsley

l. Pour the dried peas into a colander and rinse with cold water. Pick over the peas to remove any stones or soil. Place rinsed peas in a large kettle, add the water, cover and let stand overnight. Alternatively, bring the water to a boil, cook two minutes, and let soak for one hour.

2. Trim the ham bone of as much visible fat as possible. As soon as the soak period is finished, bury the bone in the peas and water.

3. Chop the onion and celery to add to the peas. Shred the carrots and add with the bay leaf, salt, and black pepper to the peas and ham.

4. Bring the soup to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for two hours or more, keeping the soup at a slow simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

5. Remove the bone from the soup, cool it, and cut up the meat and set it aside. Discard the bone and the bay leaf.

6. Strain the soup through a sieve or puree in a food processor or serve it as it is. Add the pieces of ham and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Reheat before serving and top each portion with chopped parsley, if desired.