Monday, January 9, 2012
Split Pea Soup
Some people turn up their nose at Split Pea Soup. They expect something thick, and bland and bitter.
Growing up, my whole family looked forward to the days when Mom would make Split Pea Soup. It's a great meal on a cold day. It's even great cold in lunches the next day.
Now, as a fairly busy person, I understand why my Mom might have liked making this dish too - it's really easy to make! If you make it in a crock pot like I did, you can make it in the morning and come home to perfectly cooked soup.
I have made this soup a few different way, but I think when I made this soup this Sunday, it turned out as my absolute best batch.
I learned a brilliant little tip from Ricardo Larrivee. It was a Saturday morning this fall, and I slipped down to the kitchen and made myself a coffee, then slipped under a blanket on the couch and tuned into the Food Network. Ricardo happened to be making a maple brunch buffet which included Maple Ham. I didn't use this recipe for my soup, but I did use one simple trick that stood out to me.
Ricardo took the ham and simmered it in water, twice, each time for thirty minutes. He claimed this pulls a lot of the salt out of the ham and tenderizes it. I was skeptical, but thought I would try it.
The ham came out SO tender! And definitely less salty. I'm thrilled.
Split Pea Soup
2 cups split peas
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
1-2 lb ham
1. In your crock pot, add the stock and split peas. Turn on high heat and cover.
2. Place your ham in a pot and cover with cool, filtered water. Place over high heat, and once the water is about to boil, reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour off the water, cover the ham again with cool, filtered water and, repeat. After 30 minutes, drain off the water and place the ham on a cutting board to cool.
3. In a large pan, heat your olive oil, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook until slightly browned and softened.
4. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the crock pot, cover and keep on a temperature that will keep the soup, just bubbling, but not boiling hard. Cook until the peas are softened.
5. Chop the ham into desired size and shape and add to the soup at the end of cooking, heat through and serve.