Ham & Split Pea Soup
This recipe is actually fairly simple, and it’s a great way to use up the leftovers from a roast ham. If you want, you can reserve and use the ham hock cooking liquid in place of the water (I recommend you omit the teaspoon of salt if you opt to use this substitution). If you don’t eat ham, you can substitute a smoked turkey neck in place of the ham hock and turkey leg and thigh meat in place of the ham. Serve with some crusty French bread, or top with a dollop of sour cream and croutons, if desired. This recipe makes 8 servings.
- 1 pound dried split peas
- 1 ham hock
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound ham, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain the peas and set aside.
Score the ham hock. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. (Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)
Remove the bay leaf and discard. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve.
last updated August 17, 2023