**Pre-Note: I don’t want to keep calling my husband My Husband, it’s boring. He needs a good identifying name. When I think of his food personality, it has to do with health, fitness, and all things to support his avid body building hobby. The first thing that came to mind was The Bod. I can’t really think of another way to adequately describe him when it comes to this aspect of life –he has other talents too like his photographic memory and perfect recall– but I think this name will certainly get the idea across of what I have to feed and keep happy every day. **
Okay, Andrea should get all the credit for this one. She shared her recipe for Split Pea and Ham Soup with us a few weeks ago and it hasn’t left our minds since. I brought home a bowl to share with The Bod, and after inhaling the entire portion he went running back to her house to interrogate her on how she could make something so rich and addicting! He was so extraordinarily enthusiastic about this soup that I knew it had to be the first thing made with the leftover ham hock from our Easter Ham Roast.
Don’t let the name frighten you off. If you’re like me, the only reference I had connected to the words “split pea soup” was the opening scene of the movie The Rescuers Down Under. Anyone else remember? It starts where the chef bugs scrounged a pea off the floor of a restaurant, cut it in half and plopped it in some liquid, stirred it once and then called out to the little bug waiter in a tiny voice “PEA SOUP!” It’s then served to a mouse in the mouse restaurant where Bianca and Bernard are eating. That was the extent of my knowledge on the matter. So I owe it to Andrea for opening up a whole new world of flavor and dinner options for us.
I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. It is EASY and EFFORTLESS to make. After a routine sweating of the onion and garlic, everything is basically thrown into a giant pot together and left to simmer for an hour. Like magic, when you return to the pot there sits a healthy, balanced, filling dinner ready and waiting for your consumption. The ease of it all combined with the high praises I’ll hear from The Bod all night is the reason it’s a new #1 in my kitchen.
Though it’s not as beautiful to behold as some dishes, (like the Ribbon Cucumber Salad from yesterday) it’s not a photogenic type, still I urge you to behold:
I also want to give you the heads up. My ham, I’ll remind you, was a monster. I’ve made three other recipes besides today’s soup that incorporate leftover ham from a giant roast. Stay tuned as those next three recipes will be posted over the next few days! If you’re in the same position and have enough ham to last a few more meals, section out the rest of the meat into portions, zip tight in freezer bags, and store in the freezer until you’re ready to make your next ham dish. That way it lasts longer, the meals can be spaced out, and you’re not in a mad rush panic shoveling ham in your family’s faces and feeling overdosed.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 russet potatoes, diced
- 1 pound bag split peas, rinsed and picked through, no need to soak
- 1½ pound smoked ham hock (or however much you have)
- 2 quarts chicken stock, water, or combo of the two
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Montreal Steak seasoning
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- In the largest pot you have saute the onion in olive oil until clear, about 5 min. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the carrots over medium-high heat and let cook a couple more minutes.
- Add the bag of split peas, diced potato, and ham hock to the pot and cover with chicken stock by a couple inches. Bring everything to a soft boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Let it simmer for an hour until the soup is thick and the peas have almost disintegrated, but not quite.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, Montreal Steak seasoning, cumin, and even a splash of hot sauce if you like.
- Add lemon juice last. Remove the ham hock and let it cool enough to be handled. Pull meat from the bone and shred, add it back into the soup. Discard the bone.
- Garnish with more bits of ham if you have leftovers and a dash of pepper.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free