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.