Split Pea Soup ~ All Hail The Christmas Ham Bone!

Pea-Soup-with-Ham.jpg46 degrees yesterday morning. Split Pea Soup time. Making homemade pea soup is a snap. And the reason I snag the bone from Christmas or Easter family dinners {this one courtesy of sis Janie} – it makes split pea soup REALLY great.

When I told Larry I was making this on a day he had a lunch date, he quipped, “I wish I was having that soup instead of going out.”  Especially considering he spent $25 – I kid you not – on a bowl of chicken noodle soup, half a pastrami sandwich plus coffee at Junior’s Deli, which subsequently shuttered after decades of business. (They blame the landlord.  Me thinks… prices?)

A pot of split pea soup (three meals-worth) costs MAYBE $6… $2 for the peas, free ham bone if you have a brother-in-law who bought FIVE hams on sale recently. $3 veggies and $1 brown rice – we always scoop pea soup onto rice.

Promise me you’ll never make a small portion of this soup. It freezes beautifully (I sound like Annelle in Steel Magnolias, don’t I?). Use the whole 1-lb. bag of peas.  Gift some to a friend if it’s just too much soup. But DON’T let the bag of dried peas sit in your pantry for a few years (I cannot be the only person who has done that). From my experience, that results in crunchy soup via a pea that absolutely, positively won’t dissolve.

Split Pea Soup

  • Bone and meat scraps from a ham
  • 1 lb. bag split green peas
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh ground pepper

Put the ham bone and scraps into a very large stock pot.  (Make sure your pot can hold at least 12 cups of water and ingredients PLUS that hammy stuff.)

Rinse and pick through the split peas for strange things they warn you about (rocks, bullets, I don’t know but the bag ALWAYS tells you to do this and I have yet to find something).  Place peas in pot.

Add water, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves and pepper.  (No need to add salt, the ham makes up for that.)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with about a one-inch opening and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir with a wooden spoon and the peas will disintegrate and make the soup creamy.  If they aren’t that soft, continue to simmer until they fall apart.

(At this point, the soup MAY look watery.  If so, remove the lid and simmer about 10 minutes more to reduce the liquid.)

Remove the ham bone, any inedible fat or skin, and the bay leaves.

Serve over hot cooked brown rice, if desired.  Makes 10 cups of soup.

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