OK, finding dried peas was IMPOSSIBLE this week, which is why this post is so late. Am I crazy, or is making Split Pea Soup with your leftover holiday ham bone not a thing anymore? At Christmas and Easter my relatives usually fight over the thing on their way out the door, and having pea soup for lunch all week is supposed to be a post-holiday treat, not a chore. Poor Mark went to three different stores for me before finding a one-pound bag of regular old Goya dried beans yesterday. Trader Joe’s and Target said they don’t even carry peas at all, so this isn’t a case of stores running out because everyone else wanted to make pea soup, too.
My mom always made a wicked good pea soup, but her memory of the recipe was approximate, so I decided to use a good old fashioned Betty Crocker recipe for this Split Pea Soup. My mom does not use celery or carrots in hers, but I wanted to try that and see how I liked it. I think it worked, so I’ll probably do that again the next time I make it.
It came out delectable, if I do say so myself!
SPLIT PEA SOUP
- 1 pound dried split peas, sorted and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 ham bone (or 2 pounds shanks)
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Heat the peas and the water to boiling in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Boil uncovered for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
Stir in the onion, celery, carrots and pepper. Add the ham bone. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until peas are tender.
You can either remove the ham bone trim and off the excess fat, and then chop some ham from the bone and place into the soup, or leave the bone in the soup and cut off some pieces with scissors, like I did, then remove and discard.
Heat to boiling again, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer about 30 minutes more or until the soup is your desired consistency.
Skim the fat at this point, or later before serving (that’s what I did). Serve warm with toast or a salad.
Start to finish, this took just over 3 hours, most of it simmer time. I started right after putting Georgia to bed Friday night and finished up right in time for ME to go to bed, at 10:30. I put portions into takeout containers for me to have lunches all week. If you make this in a cast iron Dutch oven, it may take quite a while to cool down completely, so I’d recommend storing in a separate container. It will look much more liquid-y when you first stop cooking and then it’ll solidify overnight, which is how long I like to let it sit before eating.
Betty Crocker’s Tips include:
How to sort and rinse peas. Preparing split peas for cooking is easy, BC says! “Just pick over the dried split peas and discard any grit or discolored peas. Place the split peas in a bowl, and cover them with water. After a minute or two, remove any skins or split peas that float to the top. Finally, rinse the split peas in a colander.”
What to do if you have no ham bone? “If you’re looking for another option for a ham bone, use 2 pounds of smoked pork hocks.”
How to eat this. Like you need the help. “Serve this hearty soup with warm crusty bread and a fresh green salad drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette. Mmm!” Adorable.