Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Soup is good food.

I really do enjoy the holidays but man, I am glad things are back to normal (at least as normal as they get around here). Things have been kind of non-stop for the past month or so and I felt like I never had time to do the things I needed to do. But here we are again. Back to the grindstone. One of my New Years resolutions is that I get back to consistently posting delicious foody (or foodie, whatever) goodness. Twice a week or more is my goal.

So here we are in the early part of January. Here in Seattle that means lots of rain and wind and cold. There's nothing better than soups and stews (anyone that says stoups gets a smack in the face) on these kinds of days. I love a good hearty rib-sticking soup that fills you up and keeps you warm. Split pea soup with ham is one of my favorites. The other night I watched The Exorcist for the 1000th time and believe it or not, I got the hankering to make some after watching Linda Blair spew gallons of the stuff all over the place. Yes, I know I'm strange but there it is. I had a Berkshire ham bone in the freezer from the holidays and knew I had to make some soup with it.

Split Pea & Berkshire Ham Soup

Serves 8-10.

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
4 peeled carrots, diced (one diced carrot set aside)
3lbs cooked Berkshire bone-in ham, most of the meat cut off ,diced, and set aside. (see note)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups dried green split peas
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups water

In a large, heavy pot over medium high heat melt the butter Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté until they to soften (about 6-8 minutes). Add the ham bone, oregano, bay leaves. Stir and sauté 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock & water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Partially cover pot and simmer for 1 hour or until the peas and vegetables are tender
Remove the ham bone and pull off the remaining meat adding it to the rest of the diced ham. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender. Return to pot. Return the diced ham to the soup. Add the last diced carrot and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the frozen peas and simmer 4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Eat it hot. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.

*(Note) Aside from the ham bone you are looking for about 2 cups of diced ham.

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