This is the time of year for split pea soup! Many of us will have a ham at either Thanksgiving or Christmas. The ham bone (with the hunk of ham attached) makes a great base for split pea soup.
My husband is in love with ham. I think I could dab some ham juice behind my ears and he would like it. But he won’t eat this soup even though he likes both peas and ham (go figure). But luckily one of my daughters and I enjoy it enough for the whole family. It makes a great lunch and freezes great too for future lunches.
Tips for making Split Pea Soup with Ham
- When you’re cooking this soup it will seem too thin for the amount of water and 4 cups of soaked split peas (if you cook it in a 7 quart stockpot or dutch oven). This is ok!! It is very easy to get split pea soup too thick. These are the perfect ratios of water, ham bone and split peas to have a smooth soup that is not so thick that it burns on the bottom.
- Once this soup cools, it is thick, so add a tiny bit of water to it to heat it up on the stove again.
- Try the lazy method of finishing the soup or the fresh veggie method, which takes more time. I did the lazy method and it tasted great! But fresh veggies are great in this soup too of course.
- If you get the ratios right, you won’t even have to blend up the soup with a stick blender to make it smooth. It automatically cooks smooth if you cook the split peas long enough in the right amount of water.
- I had quite a bit of ham left over on ham bone. Even the part that you don’t think can be used, once the ham bone is boiled, can make great pieces of ham in your soup.
Split Pea Soup with Ham
Rating: 2 forks (key)
- 1 ham bone with a chunk of ham attached
- 4 cups of split peas
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- filtered water
- 1 onion, chopped (or 2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 carrots cut in half circles
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter or ghee
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (omit for nightshade free recipe)
- Cover the split peas with water and add the baking soda, stir to dissolve. Soak the split peas for at least 7 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain the split peas and rinse them thoroughly.
- A couple hours before the split peas will be ready (completely soaked), take a 7 quart cast iron dutch oven or stock pot, add the ham bone and cover with filtered water. Simmer and make the ‘stock’ prior to the lentils being ready. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
- Once the ham bone has cooked in the water for a couple hours, take out the bone and cut off any ham chunks that you can get off. Let them cool then cut the ham into bite sized pieces. Reserve in a bowl to be added to the finished soup later.
- Once lentils are drained and rinsed and stocked has been skimmed at least once and the ham bone has the ham cut off, add the split peas to the pot with the ham bone. Let cook for at least 4 hours, or until all of the split peas are completely dissolved and the soup is smooth.
- For the lazy and easy method of finishing the soup. Remove ham bone, add dried onion flakes, garlic powder and tabasco (if using). Stir in reserved ham pieces. Let the ham warm up a few minutes, and the soup is ready to serve.
- For the fresh veggie harder method of finishing the soup. In a separate cast iron skillet saute the onions, carrots and celery in the butter or ghee until soft. Remove ham bone from the pot. Add the vegetables, the reserved ham pieces, and the tabasco sauce, if using. Let the soup warm up a few minutes, and the soup is ready to serve.
Photo courtesy of virtualern on Flickr
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