Sometimes you need a good "pick-me-up" kind of comfort food. This soup always fits the bill, and it is a great way to make something for yourself and then bring some to a friend who needs it - provided they actually do like split pea soup!
Split Pea Soup
Salt, pepper, and garlic
- Bay leaves
Ham bone and trimmings
Split peas (16 oz.)
In a soup pot make a mirepoix (a mixture of finely chopped celery, onions, and carrots) and sweat it (very low heat, it's not meant to brown anything) with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add garlic if you like.
Once the onions have turned translucent, turn off the heat completely and add about 8 cups of cold water. I always start with very cold water.
Add in a few bay leaves, a bit of sage, thyme or even a few cloves if you feel adventurous (no more than three) and your ham bone and trimmings. Bring it back to a strong simmer and cover. Let it simmer about 1 hour if you are using a precooked leftover ham bone, longer if it is uncooked. You want all that connective tissue, marrow and fat to start to melt away and add the flavor to the water. All of those unwanted bits really do help make a nice stock and add some body to it. While this is simmering feel free to occasionally skim away the foam that forms.
After it has simmered for the allotted time, remove the bone. Straining the stock is optional in order to remove any unwanted fat in your stock. Clean any remaining meat off the bone and trim off any unwanted fat. Add the meat back into the pot along with your split peas. Cook for 45 min. Add in more carrots and cook until your carrots are very tender. Then it is time to share it with others or hoard it all for yourself!
Not many other comfort foods are gluten free and low in cholesterol. Split pea soup also has a decent amount of protein (about 10g per cup, depending on the amount of ham that goes in it). Watch the amount of salt you add and you're good to go. It's much healthier than your traditional chicken noodle and freezes better as well.
Camp Vermilion Hospitality Coordinator