My Mother's Cooking - Green Split Pea Soup
Green Split Pea Soup
My Mother's Cooking
What are Split Peas?
GREEN SPLIT PEA SOUP
Whenever my mother baked a ham, she would save the bone with any meat that was hard to remove and she would make either bean soup or split pea soup. She always used the green split peas because they were more flavorful and less starchy than the yellow ones.
However, you don’t have to have a ham bone. You can use eight ounces of ham or bacon cut into small pieces as long as they have a decidedly smoky taste. The recipe, which follows, assumes that you have a leftover ham bone.
Originally, I always followed my mother's practice of adding potatoes and a few carrots. Then one time, I only had frozen carrots and peas and that worked fine too. The next time, I had a package of frozen mixed vegetables and that worked even better. Finally, I decided that the potatoes were a little too mushy so I started adding small homemade egg dumplings instead of potatoes . I like that even better.
I have provided my mother's basic recipe but feel free to experiment with it . Good food is like good jazz. It is best when it is never done exactly the same way twice. Lately, I have been making my mother's split pea soup with just bacon and homemade egg dumplings and that is easy to make and tastes great.
1 Leftover Ham Bone with some meat left on
1 Lb. of Split Green Peas
1 Medium Onion peeled and finely chopped
4 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ in x ½ in x ¼ in. slices
1 Carrot trimmed, scraped, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch slices
8 Cups of Water
20 Whole Allspice
1 Bay Leaf
1 Teaspoon of dry Basil
3 Teaspoons Salt
½ Teaspoon of Black Pepper
- Place the ham bone in a 6-8 quart kettle, add 8 cups of water, the 20 allspice and the bay leaf. Simmer for about two hours until the meat can easily be removed from the bone.
- Place a colander over a pot that is big enough to hold all of the liquid and strain the ham bone with the liquid into it.
- Return the strained liquid to the original kettle and leave the ham bone to cool while you continue cooking.
- Rinse the split peas in cold water and examine them and remove any foreign material. Then add them to the simmering ham stock. Add the chopped onions, the basil, the pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt and simmer for about an hour until the peas are broken down.
- Meanwhile, strip the ham off of the bone and cut the meat into small pieces.
- Finally add the ham, the potatoes and the carrots to the soup and continue cooking for about 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Taste the soup and add the remaining teaspoon of salt if needed. Let the soup rest for 15 minutes before serving.
This is hearty soup and we often ate it by itself with just some fresh baked bread or rolls. You could also add a sandwich such as a grilled cheese or a Monte Cristo.
How to Make Split Pea Soup with Pictures
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