Thursday, November 13, 2014

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup

For my family, this is the best cold weather meal.  I love that it is full of veggie goodness, and even better that each person in my family like it.  It does help that I put lots of ham in ours to satisfy everyone, and that the dish starts off with a bit of bacon grease (you can substitute olive oil).

2 Tablespoons bacon grease (olive oil substitute)
1 medium onion diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 Cups of cubed ham
1 bag of split peas
6 Cups chicken stock (can substitute with veggie or even pork stock)
2 bay dried bay leaves
1/2 Cup heavy cream

Saute the onion and carrots in the bacon grease until softened.  Add the garlic, red pepper, dried oregano, black pepper, ham and stir.  Add the split peas and let cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes to absorb the flavors.  Add the 6 Cups of stock, stir, and add the bay leaves.  Now you have to be patient.  Let simmer on stove, covered, for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  If it gets too thick, you can add water, but keep in mind you will be adding the cream at the end, and that will loosen the soup up a bit, so don't let it get too thin.  Right before serving add the heavy cream.  This part IS optional, but I will tell you that it makes all the difference in the soup and gives it a lovely, velvety consistency as well.


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