Split Pea Soup
1 pound dried split green peas (approx. 2 ½ cups)
16 cups cold water
1 left-over Ham Bone
4 strips Bacon, chopped finely (use frozen bacon for a super fine chop)
1 onion, large, chopped (approx. 1 ½ Cups)
2-3 ribs Celery, chopped (Approx. 1 cup)
1 cup Carrots, grated or chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 large potatoes (1 cup) cooked and chopped finely
1/4 cup Parsley; fresh, chopped
• 1 Bay leaf
• 2 tsp. Savory — dried
• ¼ cup white vinegar
• Salt and Pepper
Clean & rinse peas under cold water (check for pebbles, etc…). Set aside.
Place bacon in bottom of large stock pot that has been heated. Sauté until bacon becomes soft. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion, celery and carrots. Saute for a few minutes until soft and add garlic. Saute for a few more minutes.
Add ham bone, peas, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally so peas don’t stick to the bottom and strain off any foam that accumulates.
In the meantime, place 2 large potatoes (or 4 small) into a pot of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer 20 minutes until a fork comes out of the potato easily. Let cool. Remove skins and then chop finely. Set aside.
When peas have become soft and have somewhat dissolved and the meat is falling off the ham bone you’ll know the soup is almost done. Remove the ham bone and let cool. Remove any meat, chop and return to soup. Add the potatoes, savory, chopped parsley, salt & pepper. This soup needs quite a bit of salt, but do it slowly so you don’t over salt.
• Freeze the ham bone if you don’t have time to make the soup just then.
• Soup freezes very well.
• Soup thickens in the fridge or freezer and even on the stove when reheating, so be sure to add water to re-hydrate to the desired consistency.
• For a nice presentation, ladle hot soup in bowls, place a heaping Tbsp of ham in center and sprinkle with chopped parsley and/or a turn or two of the pepper grinder.
• Invest in a large heavy bottomed stock pot to avoid scorching. If you do burn, don’t stir, carefully pour most of the soup into another pot without disturbing the burned parts.
• Use Sea salt or Kosher salt as it has less sodium and a lighter salt flavor.
• For a really BIG pot of soup, double the recipe, but use only one ham bone.