Sunday, January 16, 2011

Split Pea Soup

We had ham for Christmas. Yummy ham that I glazed with orange juice, cloves, honey and a little brown sugar. NOM NOM. For leftovers Diva made us green eggs and ham and I made split pea soup.
I realize that to some people split pea soup brings flashbacks of a certain movie. So sad, because split pea soups is easy to make, smooth, creamy and pretty good for you. I have made split pea with a splash of cream, in this recipe I omitted the cream and substituted navy beans to make it creamy. I blend the beans to make the soup creamy, if you don't want to puree the beans just put them in the pot with the peas at the start of cooking and follow the recipe from there.

Give Peas A Chance Split Pea Soup
1 bag split peas- I think my bag was about a pound/16 ounces (picked over to remove any pebbles, I throw out the funny looking ones also, soak in cold water overnight)
1 ham bone
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 cloves garlic minced
2 carrots diced
3 stalks of celery diced
1 small onion diced
15 ounces cooked navy beans- rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (OPTIONAL)
White pepper- you can use black also
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon marjarom
1 teaspoon thyme
5-8 cups stock/broth (low sodium) or water (Use vegetable or chicken stock)
1 cup diced ham from ham bone after cooking or 1 cup cooked diced ham

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a pot or dutch oven on medium high heat.  Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
Add the celery and carrot, saute for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the rinse and drained peas to the pot. Push the ham bone into the peas. Add the bay leaves, marjoram and thyme. Then add stock/broth or water to cover the peas- you want about two inches of liquid above the peas. Bring everything up to a boil. 

Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours until peas are very soft and tender. Remove ham bone and dice meat off the bone. Remove bay leaves and discard.
In a blender puree the navy beans with a little bit of soup broth. Add this to the soup pot.  Puree another 1/4- 1/3 of the soup.* Return to pureed soup to the pot, stir in ham and 2 tablespoons butter and heat the soup.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, hot sauce or splash of cream. Grilled cheese croutons are great on top also.

*Please note when blending soup in a blender (as opposed to an immersion blender) do NOT fill the blender jar to the brim. Fill it half way, put the lid on. With a kitchen towel over the lid start the blender. When in doubt do small batches at a time. 
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