I was clearing the freezer to make way for my freshly-bought meat when I found a lone ham bone tucked between trays of chicken leg quarters and stewing beef cubes. The bone was from the honey-glazed ham we had for Easter, which I bagged and meant to use for soups and stocks the following days. In typical Lalaine fashion, I forgot about it as new purchases piled on top of the other in the freezer.
With the hottest days of summer upon us, we are definitely quite a ways from soup season but the thought of a hearty bowl of split pea soup was too hard for me to resist even in the sweltering heat. I sauteed a mirepoix blend of onions, carrots and celery as flavor base, threw in the ham bone for a smoky depth and added a potato for additional texture. In a snap, I had ready a bowl of soup that’s both nourishing and comforting. Enjoy!
- 1 (16 ounces) bag split peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 ham bone
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sort through the dried split peas and discard any grit or discolored peas. In a bowl, place peas and enough water to cover. After a minute, remove any peas or skin that float to top. Rinse split peas and drain well.
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and cook, stirring regularly, until softened.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add dried split peas, ham bone and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, skimming off scum that may float to top. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until peas are tender. In the last 30 minutes, add potatoes and cook until very tender. Using back of spoon, mash potatoes to help thicken soup.
- Remove ham bone and scrape meat from bone. Chop ham meat and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and serve hot.