How is it that I had never made split pea soup before? It can't possibly be any easier to make. It's one of those soups, that to me, is comfort in a cup. What I love about split pea (and any bean soup, for that matter) is that it's hearty and filling and yet not so rich that it leaves you feeling heavy and lethargic. When the weather's lousy, this is one of those soups I crave. Serve it up with freshly made croutons or a warm baguette and it's a perfect lunch or dinner. On its own, in cup or mug, and it's the perfect afternoon snack. This soup freezes beautifully.
1 lb dry split peas
6 cups of chicken stock or *vegetable broth
1/2 cup or 1 small onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of sliced or baby carrots
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups of diced smoked ham (This is a great soup to make with leftover spiral ham.)
*Leave out the ham and use vegetable broth and you have a vegan soup.
Rinse and pick through beans.
- In a 6 or 8 quart pot add the peas, stock, carrots, onion, garlic and bay leaves.
- Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for about 2 minutes. (This will make the peas tender.) Then reduce the heat to a simmer for an hour or so. The beans should be nice and tender at this point.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender, a food processor or standing blender. If using a food processor or standing blender let the soup cool before blending or puree in small batches or the soup. The reason for this is that hot soup will ooze and this can be not only incredibly messy, but quite hazardous as well. We highly recommend using the immersion blender. This is not only the safest way to blend soups, but will guarantee a silky puree if desired.
- When the soup is bended to you satisfaction add the ham and return to the stove to simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or when ready to eat - We recommend letting the ham simmer for about half an hour or so so that the ham's smokiness infuses with the soup. If the soup is too thick, add some water, in 1/2 cup increments until you get your desired consistency.
Note: Some soups are noticeably greener than others - this is slightly less green due to the amount of carrots used.