First off – I love to make soups – all kinds of HEARTY SOUPS – if it’s not thick I don’t consider it a real soup worth making or eating
So with this in mind remember – each to their own – certain diets have different ideas about this BUT I like it thick!
I always use the ham bone with all of the good stuff on it – DON’T clean the bone.
I usually end up freezing the Ham bone and left over ham from Thanksgiving and/or Christmas – (same with the turkey carcass but more about that on a different Bog) – the time of the year is just right for a good hearty soup when you’re in the mood.
OK – here we go –
First thing – this is important – put the Frozen Ham Bone in a large pot of about six to eight cups of water – enough to fully cover bone by at least two inches and bring it to a boil.
Once has come to a full rolling boil turn down the heat to low and cover the pot and then simmer for at least two hours – three is better – turn off the heat and let it cool until you can put the pot in the refrigerator – overnight
Remove the pot with the ham bone and skim all of the hardened fat from the top – it should be quite easy at this point – once the fat has been removed from the pot – remove the ham bone – (Leave the broth in the pot) and trim off all of the ham that is to be eaten – discard the fatty parts or anything you don’t want it your soup.
On to the next step:
- Using a new larger Pot (If you have one)
- Heat the pot and then put in some oil – not a lot – just enough to sauté the Vegetables for a few minutes
- I use a whole white onion chopped up fairly fine,
- While the onions are simmering away I add salt, black pepper and no other spices.
- While I’m waiting on the onions I chop up about ½ to ¾ bunch of celery – I usually wash the celery and try to keep it whole – not split apart and chop from the top down towards the butt – however coarse you want but I like my celery about a quarter inch at most in width.
- I’m still watching the Onions and if they’re ready – just a bit translucent – I put the celery in the pot and stir it together.
- Next the carrots – I love Carrots in my Split Pea Soup so I use a lot – I use whole carrots – large bags and pick out the ones that look like I want to peel and chop – use however many you want – a little or a lot – you can adjust next time
- As soon as your done chopping – put them in the pot
So you’ve got your onions celery and carrots in the pot plus salt and pepper – now it’s time for the garlic.
- Some people don’t like garlic – some LOVE it – I like it but I use it in moderation. Garlic burns easy and gets bitter – don’t put in until the other vegetables are in – trust me on this
- I use garlic in a little jar all chopped up into pieces – it’s just easier but use what you want
- OK – you’re about half way to the finish with adding stuff
- Put in the ham bone and any (lots) of little ham pieces you saved to add to the soup – try to not have big pieces that won’t fit on a spoon –
- Pour the broth that you still have left in the first pot and add more water than you think – more than just covering the ham Bone – like maybe 2-4 cups or more (think big pot here)
- Finally add the Split Peas – I use green split peas – I just always have – but use yellow if that’s what you’re used to.
NOW – Bring it all to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover – the soup will be ready to eat in a couple of hours – depending on if you washed the peas and let them soak overnight – (I recommend this) BUT I like to simmer my soup and let it thicken for three or for hour – That’s why I add extra water in the beginning.
We have been trying to eat healthy and at the same time come up with simple tasty meals for a lite Dinner. We found just the thing to satisfy our last meal of the day - Ritz Crackers with Cream Cheese topped with slices of red, orange or yellow bell pepper rings (the small baby peppers) and then added Smoked Oysters- yummm. An easy tasty dinner