The Secret to a Delicious Split Pea Soup Recipe with Easter Ham
Every year my family gets together for Easter. Whether here or in Coeur d’Alene we always have at least three things every time: scalloped potatoes, my grandmother’s slaw salad and smoked ham. This year my mother brought a smoked ham over with her from Tim’s Meats in Coeur d’Alene.
Tim’s used to butcher our pigs when I was a kid. I remember the mobile slaughter unit backing up to the pig pens and Tim and his sons swiftly and dutifully departing our beloved Bacon and Pork chops—our two pigs that my five year-old sister had originally wanted to name Wilbur and Charlotte.
Every year my mom asks me if she should get a ham from Tim’s, to which I always reply ‘yes’ and then she asks, just like always, if she should get it bone-in or not; to which I always reply ‘bone-in’. Because why would you get it any other way if you had the choice? If you don’t get your ham bone-in (or if you don’t have any ham leftover) you couldn’t make this delicious soup.
Well, you could (and you should, bone or not) by following the recipe below and it would still be delicious. But the bone is what makes it rich and marrow-licious. Just remember to keep your hands off the salt until the end as pre-salting the peas, like any legume, will result in a slightly tougher texture.
So grab your ham, if there’s any left, or just go get some more and give this recipe a try.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup smoked ham, minced
- 1 cup onions or shallots, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp freshly ground back pepper
- Pinch of cayenne
- Pinch of white pepper
- 1 ham hock (optional)
- 2 cups split peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
- 6 cups stock or water
- 2 cups smoked ham, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, cut crosswise in 1/2-inch rounds
- Once you have your mirepoix prepared (onions, carrots, celery and garlic), heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering, add ham and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add mirepoix and saute, stirring often until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add peppers, peas, ham hock and stock.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, or blend in batches until desired consistency.
- Add additional ham and carrots, cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Serve hot.
Did you have a ham for Easter or did you celebrate Passover? What did your family eat over the weekend?