The first time I was served split pea soup it kind of scared me. A bowl of green mush. I was 14. I was at dinner with my date for a dance. I ate it because I didn’t want to offend my date. To my surprise is was delicious! I tried it a few times after that and finally learned how to make it myself at some point.
This version uses any ham you might have on hand. We LOVE our pork. So much, in fact, that we buy half of a pig each fall from some wonderful farmers back home. My share comes with some awesomely HUGE hams. We usually cook one for the holidays and there’s tons of leftover meat and a fabulous bone for making soup. Split pea soup is always one of the ways I utilize this leftover meat.
Split Pea Soup with Ham (Printable)
- 1 bag (1lb) dried split peas, rinsed and picked over
- 4 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth (I use reduced sodium/fat free)
- 3 carrots
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups diced ham
- Salt and black pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, mix all ingredients EXCEPT the ham. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add ham and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Soup is ready when it has thickened and peas have broken down. Serve immediately with crackers or croutons.
NOTE: If you have a left over meaty ham bone or ham hock you can add that to the pot from the start of the recipe. I have done that before, but didn’t have a ham hock available this time. The taste is still really great with or without the bone.
With the holidays just around the corner, I hope this recipe comes in handy when figuring out what to do with all of those leftovers!