I love Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Ham and I have for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t a super fussy eater as a kid but I think we all remember the things we didn’t like; even if over the years our tastes have changed and we’re more adventurous as adults (except green bell pepper…still can’t!). I’m sort of surprised that this soup isn’t on that list of ‘no thank you’ as a kid but I remember loving both split pea and the even uglier brown lentil soup. Go figure right? Today I’m including it with this weeks list of Soups for The Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast…yes, we have officially switched from Fall Foods to Comfort Foods and the timing seems perfect as I stare out the window at the snow coming down. Comfort is needed.
Seems this is the week of ugly ducklings; much like the Baked Chicken with Leeks, Bacon and Mustard that I posted yesterday, this soup does have it’s beautiful side but you have to taste it to make that discovery. Rich with the mirapoix blend of sauteed onion, carrots and celery, I’ve always done one thing that I think has this simple mixture stand head and shoulders above the others I’ve had. It’s simple too…I substitute chicken stock for the water that is most often called for when making a bean soup. Wait…guess there are a few more things I do differently!
My need for a whole ham could be described as never…I like it OK but never crave it for a regular meal. However, I love the soups that have always called for a ham bone. When I first published this recipe a few years ago, I decided on a whim to contact Honey Baked Ham to see if they might sell the ham bones from the ones they use for prepared sandwiches that they sell on premises. My whim was met with surprise and delight when the answer was ‘yes,’ I even think a whoo-hoo might have been uttered from my lips! It’s allowed me to add some winter soups to my repertoire that might have been eliminated now that I’m only cooking for myself and that is very good.
When I dropped by the local Honey Baked Ham store the other day to pick up a bone I was crestfallen when they had none. What they did have? Apparently at the end of the day; any of the pre-measured sandwich slices that are not used are frozen in plastic baggies for sale. So now I’ve moved from having to cook a whole ham to using the meat from a ham bone to now just including a pound and a half of cooked slices? It felt a bit Sandra Lee-ish but in this case it was more of a Martha Stewart ‘good thing’ and certainly a convenience I wanted to share with readers. Time was at a premium this past weekend and these few choices made this hearty soup a snap to put together. After cooking the trifecta of carrots, celery and onion in a skillet; they were added with the peas, stock and ham to a slow cooker that I set to cook overnight for 10 hours. It was ready in the morning to be finished with a bit of half and half and honesty I could have ‘almost’ eaten it for breakfast!
I’ve had an immersion blender for a long time and I think they are an amazing tool for soups. Even soups that are not supposed to be smooth can benefit from a bit of blending; I find it helps to thicken the soup without having to add any additional ingredients. I just blend for a few seconds and then call it good; I still want most of those larger pieces of meat and veggies too.
If you’ve never made Split Pea Soup with Ham and Carrots, well, why not? Don’t be afraid of it’s homely appearance, under that outside veneer is a warm and totally satisfying dish that I bet you’ll love as much as I do.
A quintessential winter soup using leftover ham and dry split peas.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 stalks of celery, sliced
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 pkg of pre-sliced carrots or 4-6 carrots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pkg dry split peas (16 oz)
- 1 ham bone or 16-20 oz of cooked, sliced ham
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 - 32oz boxes of chicken stock or equivalent fresh or canned
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Put olive oil and butter in large pot and warm on medium heat until butter has melted.
- Add carrots, onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Put peas, ham or ham bone, thyme, chicken stock and vegetables in a slow cooker.
- Cook on the lowest heat for 8 hours.
- Remove ham bone if used, cool and then remove meat and add meat back to pot.
- Add 1/2 cup of half and half; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To thicken, blend partially with a stick blender or remove approximately 3 cups and blend in a countertop blender; return blended soup to pot and heat if necessary before serving.
This makes a lot of soup; enough to both serve and then freeze half for later.
Enjoy these dishes from other Food Network Bloggers who are sharing Soups today for this season’s #ComfortFoodFeast!
The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Posole Rojo
Creative Culinary: Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Ham
Homemade Delish: Italian Cioppino Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Soup
Dishing with Divya: Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Creamy Vegetable Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup (in a slow cooker)
Red or Green: New Mexican Green Chile, Turkey & Posole Soup
The Heritage Cook: Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup (Gluten-Free)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 14 Sensational Soups
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Winter Squash & Chickpea Ribollita
The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup
The Mom 100: Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
Healthy Eats: 5 No-Brainers for Improving Chicken Soup
FN Dish: Soup’s On! 5 Warming Must-Make Bowls