Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Heb 12:1-2 (NLT)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ham and Split Pea Soup

Ease: 3/5     Kid-friendliness: 4/5     Taste: 4/5     Time: 2/5

Prep: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

As I was endlessly chopping up the vegetables for this soup (which takes extra long these days as I have to chop them extra fine so that my eleven month old can eat them too), I couldn't help thinking that I really don't like making soup. But after I enjoyed this hearty soup's flavor and packed away enough left-overs for lunch plus some for the freezer, I remembered why I do.

This recipe makes a nice thick gravy-like soup that is a little less messy for kids to eat.

What you'll need:
  • 10 C chicken broth
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 C diced red bell pepper
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced, with tops
  • 1 lb dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb lean thick-sliced smoked ham, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • slat and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place 1 C of the broth in a large soup pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, bell pepper, carrot, and celery. Cook uncovered ~15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. 

Gradually stir in the remaining 9 cups of broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat just to a gentle simmer, and add the split peas, potatoes, ham and seasonings, stirring to mix. 

Partially cover the pot, and continue to simmer for 1 hour, or until the peas are very soft and the soup is quite thick. Stir often to keep the soup from sticking to the pot (I didn't stir it often enough, and was left with a difficult pot to wash!). 

Remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir and serve. Makes 8 servings. 

Adapted from Karen Bellerson's Ham and Split Pea soup recipe in Low Fat, No Fat Cooking 

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