You all probably know by now that I cook and eat a lot of legumes. Even if I didn’t love them all, I’d eat them anyway because they’re so healthy.
Today I’m cooking up one of my husband’s favorite – split peas. He loves them as a soup with ham. They’re so easy to make and require minimal preparation, but provide many meals from the voluminous soup you end up with, just from a little bag of split peas.
Split Pea Soup with Ham
For this recipe, I’m not going to list ingredients in the traditional way. I’m just going to walk you through making split peas if you’re doing it for the first time. Then you’ll be able to make lentils, beans, you name it, without any recipe. Ever.
For this dish, all you need is a 1-pound bag of split peas.
First, soak the split peas for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight if you prefer.
Then chop up the aromatics, in this case, onions, celery, and carrot. You could also use leeks and omit carrots. And, there’s always fresh garlic. Your choice.
Sauté them in some olive oil if you’re a vegetarian or some butter for a few minutes. You don’t have to overdo the sautéing because they will further cook in broth along with the peas.
Then add the soaked and rinsed peas and enough fresh water to cover them in the pot.
Then stir in chopped parsley, if you like parsley, and in my case, powdered chicken broth. If you’re not using this product, then use prepared broth instead of water in the above step.
Bring the peas in the broth to a boil, and simmer until they’re done.
You can simmer them two different ways. If you have a lot of broth in with the peas, you might want to simmer them over slightly higher heat without covering the pot, or only covering the pot partially. If you just have barely enough broth to cover the peas, I would suggest covering the pot and letting everything simmer over the lowest heat. Mine took 30 minutes to cook, first partially covered, then fully covered. Use your lid, and adjust your heat. When the split peas are cooked, they will look like this:
But once you stir the peas, it will all mush up and look like soup. As is, it’s a perfectly delicious and healthy soup.
If you’re not a vegetarian and want an even heartier soup, add some diced ham, or grilled sausages, or chicken, or whatever you wish to this lovely pea soup, and serve it with some grilled crostini.