Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fresh Split Pea and Ham Soup

This soup is so delicious.  When my older son was under the weather, this is what he requested...from Claire. She adds a new twist to the old split pea by using spinach and fresh peas at the very end.  The soup is greener, sweeter, and more vibrant, and so much more appetizing than the pea soup from that scene in the Exorcist.  If you have a ham bone, it adds additional richness to the soup. All you need now is a rainy day, a warm fire, and a good movie...

You can see the bright flecks of green!
Fresh Split Pea and Ham Soup
2 c dried split peas
2 T butter or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
6 c chicken stock or water
1/2 lb spinach, chopped
2 c fresh peas (or thawed frozen peas)

1 ham bone (optional)
1 c chopped ham or turkey ham (optional)
3 slices pancetta, diced (optional)

If using pancetta, saute in your soup pot until crisp.  Take out and set aside.  Saute onions, carrots, and celery in butter or olive oil.  Add split peas, bay leaf, ham bone, and water or chicken stock, and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer for 45 minutes.  If soup is too thick, add additional water.  Discard bay leaf (and ham bone if using), and puree soup with immersion blender (or in a regular blender).  Add spinach and peas and let cook for additional 2-3 minutes.  Puree again until smooth, and stir in diced ham.  Serve with garnish of pancetta.

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