Classic Split-Pea Soup
Split pea soup is very easy to prepare, only takes about an hour to cook, and makes for an economical and satisfying meal. Its unique, rich flavor comes from smoked ham and sautéed onion, celery and carrots, bay leaf and fresh thyme.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 ham bone or 2 small smoked ham hocks (see notes)
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups smoked ham, diced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups water
- 2 cups green split peas
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the soup:
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the ham bone, diced ham, split peas, chicken broth, 3 cups of water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until the peas soften and cook apart, 45 to 60 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: You can add up to 3/4 cup more water during cooking if you think the soup is too thick.
Remove and discard the ham bone, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Stir the soup to blend thoroughly, ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme if desired.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Once the soup is cooked, remove the ham hocks (or bone), trim away any fat, dice the meat and add it back to the soup.