Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Split Pea Soup with Ham

It's the new year and once again I am going to try to eat healthier. As you know, I love to cook so I'm going to work real hard on cooking healthier foods and plan to share some healthy recipes with you.

My family is extremely busy with after school activities, sports, etc. so it can be hard to keep on track with healthy meals during the week. So I'm trying! Tonight we will be having Turkey Sandwiches on Oat Bread, Spinach Salad, and Split Pea Soup. I am pretty sure I'll be the only one eating the soup. Hoping I'm wrong, but we will see. I absolutely LOVE pea soup .. even when I was a kid. My mom usually made it when it was just her and I for dinner. This was on her "soul food" lists of foods that her and I much enjoyed when I was growing up.  She always served her pea soup with red onions. Not sure why, but I had a thing for the 'purple onions' when I was kid - always thought they were 'cool'. So I'm keeping with the tradition. And I'm pretty sure her recipe pretty much goes like this:

  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cups medium-diced carrots (2 to 3 carrots)
  • 1 lb of ham hock (or leftover ham bone)
  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 8 cups water or chicken stock
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sliced or diced red onion for garnish

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, 1 pound of split peas, and water or chicken stock (I used 8 cups of water and 2 chicken boullion cubes). Add ham bone or ham hock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Remove ham hock (or ham bone) from the soup. Cut the ham off the bone and chop into bite size pieces. Add the chopped ham back to the soup and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. I simmer until the peas turn very soft and almost a smooth consistency. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with thinly sliced red onions.


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