We’ve had an interesting week weather-wise here in Indiana. The temperatures went from 70 degrees one day to snow and the 30’s another day and today in the mid 40’s and rain. Sheesh Mother Nature! Make up your darn mind! We Hoosiers just say welcome to spring in Indiana. Looking at the 10 day forecast as of today, it’s supposed to get gradually warmer each day. All I can say is show me the money. Yep I’ll believe it when I see it.
With the weather yucky like this and me still feeling pretty crappy from this hookie flookie that I’ve been fighting all week, all I can think of is a nice, warm bowl of soup. This morning, before everyone was up and around for the day, I decided I was going to make this split pea with ham soup. Both my green-eyed Irish guy and G asked, “What is that smell?” when they came downstairs. I said, “That delicious smell is split pea with ham soup.” Green eyes hates peas so I knew it was not going to impress him much, but G was interested. She even invited her BF over to have some before they went off to have fun this weekend. Speaking of G and her BF, they got engaged two weeks ago! He surprised me one day beforehand by stopping in. He asked for permission and I so wanted to mess with him and say no, but he looked so sincere and so frightened I didn’t have the heart to do it. Then he called my green-eyed Irish guy and talked to him about it. Pretty sweet stuff. Good news is we kept the secret and she was happily surprised. Oh yeah, she said yes. They don’t have a date in mind yet. G’s still in college and her BF just graduated so their plan is to wait until she graduates.
Unlike the soup nazi, I always say some soup for you! Let’s get this soup simmering.
Split Pea with Ham Soup
16 oz. bag dried split green peas
1 small onion, small dice
2 ribs celery, small dice
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
2 32 oz. cartons chicken stock or broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
small ham bone or the “rind” from a glazed boneless ham tied off in cheesecloth*
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
12 oz. diced ham
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Pick over your peas to make sure there’s no rocks or other foreign objects in them. Rinse them with cold water and drain. Set aside. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and celery. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or so until they soften and become translucent. Add the garlic, thyme and oregano. Cook and stir for a minute or so. Add the chicken stock, bouillon cubes, bay leaf ham bone or rind and peas to the pot. Bring to a boil on medium heat, turn heat down to simmer so just lightly bubbling. Skim off any foam that forms on the top with a spoon. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove ham bone or rind packet. Add carrots, potatoes, ham, salt and pepper and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally. Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed. If it’s gotten too thick, just add an additional cup or two of stock or water. This makes a delicious, thick soup. It’ll warm your cockles. Have you heard that expression? I’ve used it many times but had no clue what a cockle was until just now when I googled it. It’s a small, edible saltwater clam. I guess I’ll save that expression for when I make clam chowder. Any way, it’ll warm your tummy and your soul. Enjoy!
*I made a boneless, glazed ham for Easter. I find that after you refrigerate it, the outside that’s been glazed or rind as I call it gets tough and inedible. I usually cut it off and throw it away. I cut it off the ham, wrapped it in cheesecloth, tied it off with kitchen twine and placed it in the soup instead of a bone to impart more ham flavor.
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,