How does that make you feel? Excited? Euphoric? Hungry? Hangry, even?
Easter may just be my favorite foodie holiday. It is the one day of the year that we take the time to cook a whole ham. Specifically, a whole ham because that ham bone is a leftovers gold mine. Packed inside it is the flavor of the gods. It can impart it’s smoky, cured meat gusto onto anything you cook it in.
Now follow me here, if Easter is my favorite holiday because ham is my favorite holiday meat, then pea soup is probably one of my favorite things to make with the leftovers. If done well, this beauty will deliver everything you could possibly want in a soup: salty, savory, warm, smoky goodness. And for those of you who are counting, split peas are also a nutritional powerhouse. They are packed with protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium. Paired with a salad, a whole grain bread, and a glass of red wine, this meal is just what the doctor ordered. Trust me, I asked.
I know what you’re thinking: pea soup can be somewhat of an acquired taste. We have all had a bad pea soup, or at least I have. If you are a disbeliever, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. And if you are a believer, even better! You are going to love it.
2 ¼ c. dried split peas
2 qt. chicken broth (I use Hannaford brand. See why in this post about chicken broth)
½ c. water
2 yellow onions, chopped
3-4 lg. carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 lb. Yukon gold potato, ½” dice
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 pinches rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 hambone or 1 ½ lb. ham hocks
½ – 1 lb. ham steak, or desired amount depending on how much meat is on the bone
- Soak peas overnight in 2 quarts of chicken broth. I do this right in the Dutch oven that I cook the soup in.
- When you are ready to cook your soup, add ½ c. water, bay leaf, rosemary, salt, pepper, onion, ham bone/ham hock and ham steak. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 ½ hours.
- Remove ham bone/ham hock and ham steak from the soup. Pick off any usable meat and dice, returning the meat to the soup and discarding the fat and bone. Add in your carrots, potatoes, and celery. Cook slowly, uncovered, until veggies are tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. Discard bay leaf and serve!