There are many recipes for split pea and ham soups available, and this is my favorite. While in the middle of winter, these kinds of soups are the best type for warming body and soul. This one goes just a bit further and adds in a surprising ingredient.
Though not the biggest fan of soups, I do eat them and have quite a few really great and favorite recipes. Those soups I make are mainly quite hearty and generally very healthy. I like soups made with a leftover ham bone from whatever holiday. I freeze the bone with some of the meat still left on until needed. The great thing about ham bones to make soup is that they are already salted and it is not necessary to add salt to the recipe.
Ham Bone or Smoked Ham Hocks
My Mom and Dad perfected a ham and bean soup that is just spectacular and warming. It is homey but the flavors are tremendous. With that soup as a base for my knowledge, I experimented and came up with my split pea and vegetable soup that is just as delectable with slightly different ingredients. If a ham bone is not available at the time you decide to make a soup, look for smoked ham hocks at the grocery. These will be a good substitute. They will impart a smokier component to the overall flavor, and slightly less meat. If you want more meat in the soup, just cube a store bought slice of ham to add in.
Approximate Amounts Can be Varied
The soups I make are never absolutely specific in the ingredient amounts, because how the soup turns out is personal taste. Some prefer soups to be thicker, and some prefer a thinner soup. Adding water at the beginning is a guesstimate because the end result will depend on how long the cooking time has been, at what temperature, with the lid on or off, and other factors. Water can always be added back in to thin the soup later, if needed. Vegetables can be eliminated or others added in. Use this recipe as a base and change it to taste.
Split Pea, Vegetable and Ham Soup
1 leftover ham bone, with about a pound of meat left on, OR 3 meaty smoked ham hocks
1 onion, in small dice
2 or 3 carrots, in small dice
3 to 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 medium potato, in small dice
1 pound green split peas
1 box frozen chopped spinach
Directions: In a large soup pot, place the hambone with meat, onion, carrot, potato and celery. Pour in water to nearly cover the ham bone or hocks; about 6 - 8 cups. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer slowly for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. The meat should be getting tender. Add the bag of split peas and cook until the peas are mostly disintegrated; about an hour. Remove hambone or hocks and remove as much meat as possible and return meat to the soup. Add in the package of frozen spinach and allow to heat completely through. Stir well to disperse the spinach. Serve hot with some nice crusty bread, or corn muffins. Serves 8 to 10.
NOTES: This recipe can also be made with yellow split peas. All the ingredients could easily be placed in a large crock pot and slow-cooked all day. It can also be placed in a large heavy Dutch Oven, or enameled cast iron pot and slowly simmered on the stove or in the oven, on whatever temperature maintains a simmer.
About The Author
My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.
My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.
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