I love pea soup and this is the most positively delicious split pea soup with ham recipe I have had since my childhood.
For love of the soup… and peas
I love pea soup for two reasons:
1.) It’s soup and
2.) It has my favorite meat in it.
The only other two pea soups I’ve had that are better than this one are my mother’s and my sister Robyn’s. Now, this recipe is pretty close to the one they both make, with one difference. My mom used to make a homemade noodles for her soup. Robyn does not make those noodles but has captured the flavor of my mom’s soup.
Let me explain about the noodles.
My mother used to make homemade pasta all the time. She used to make all different kinds but for pea soup, she used to make sheets of pasta, cut them in big triangles and place them in the pea soup near of the end of the cooking time.
And let me say, “Oh…My…Word!” It is so hard to explain how delish this was. I only wish I knew how she did it. I’ve tried but it isn’t the same.
I hate to admit it, and this is a little gross, but when I was young, I used to take the triangles out of the pea soup and place them on a side plate. Then I used to pick them up with my fingers and lick off the pea soup so they were ‘clean’ and then I used to bite into the triangles, consuming them one after the other.
Do you have weird quirks like that or funny things you used to do with food? I’d love the hear in the comments, so leave me one! I dare you!
Now, this recipe tastes like my mom’s without those lovely triangles of yumminess!
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How to make split pea soup with ham
I start off with 1 pound of green split peas or, as we say in Spanish, “Arvejas partidas verdes”. (Yes, I read it off the bag, but don’t tell Christopher. He thinks I’m fluent.) Haha. Just kidding. He knows I’m not fluent, though I still have retained some of my 7 years of Spanish in high school and college.
I dump the peas in a colander and rinse them in water. I stir them around with my hands and look for any rocks. We can’t have rocks in soup, no siree, Bob. No broken teeth on my watch.
Next, I get my big saucepan and dump the peas into 8 cups of water. I bring the peas to a boil and shut the heat off. I let it sit for 1 hour before the next step.
I get out my cutting board and take out the carrots, onions, celery and potato.
I chop up the onions, celery and carrots into chunks as you can see in the photo below.
I drain the split peas.
I place the pan of split peas back on the stove and pour in 4 cups of chicken broth along with 2 cups of water. I add the onions, celery, carrots, salt, pepper and a bay leaf and turn the heat to medium high.
I wait for it to come to a boil and once it does, I turn the heat down to a simmer.
I cut up the potatoes into little cubes while I’m waiting.
I let the soup simmer for an hour before I add the potatoes. I then let it simmer for another hour and check it periodically to make sure the peas are pulverized and the soup has thickened.
I get my leftover smoked shoulder and cut it up into chunks.
Yum, yummity, yum!
It’s time to add the smoked shoulder. I let it cook for another 5 minutes and voila! It’s done.
I pour it in a few bowls and it’s dinnah time. (I’m from Massachusetts, don’t you know.)
I hope you enjoyed this split pea with ham recipe.
One other thing, the soup thickens and in my opinion, is even better the day after. See!
As always, may all your dishes be delish!
Split Pea Soup with Ham Recipe
- 1 pound split peas dried
- 8 cups water
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 3 carrots cut in chunks
- 2 stalks celery sliced including the leaves
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 – 3 cups smoked shoulder or ham chopped, already cooked
- 1 potato medium, cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- Rinse split peas and take out any rocks or bad peas
- In a large sauce pan, place dried split peas and 8 cups of water
- Bring water to boil and turn off the heat
- Let sit for an hour
- Drain peas
- Cut up all the vegetables, see ingredients for directions
- Add chicken broth and the 2 cups of water
- Add onion, carrots, celery, salt, pepper and bay leaf
- Turn the heat under the pan on medium and bring everything to a boil
- Turn down to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
- Add potatoes and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally – it should thicken nicely
- Cut up smoked shoulder into chunks and add to soup
- Let simmer for another 5 minutes
- Ladle into bowls