Classic Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup

In honor of St. Patrick’s day (and to keep us warm during the cold dreary weather lately) I made this simple classic soup that always goes so quickly. Split pea soup is such a healthy and easy one pot meal. Every time I make this, both Chris and I agree that it should show up at the dinner table once a week. Read on for the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil & butter, as needed
  • 5-7 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4-6 small golden potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb dry split peas
  • 1 lb pork side pieces (or any form of ham or seasoning meat. There are two superb meat vendors at our farmers market who always seem to know exactly what I need for various dishes. The assorted pork side pieces gave us a great amount of meat as well as fat for flavor.)
  • 2 dry or fresh bay leaves
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart good quality organic vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, on medium high heat, melt a few tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Lightly saute the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, and potatoes until slightly soft and some browning has occurred, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the peas, pork pieces and spices and give everything a good stir.
  • Pour in the stock, adding water if needed to cover everything. Season with salt and pepper and simmer on low for 1.5-2 hours. Add more water as needed. If you want the peas to stay whole, simmer for less time. We love it with the peas blended together, though it’s not the most attractive soup.
  • Optional step: remove some of the ham pieces, chop finely and fry until crisp – they make a great a crunchy topping.
  • Enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you can’t find pork side pieces, you could easily use a ham steak or even diced deli ham.
  • When reheating, add a little water or stock to thin.
  • My 2 year old loves this with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top-not a bad idea!
  • Perfect for babies as well.
  • It goes excellent with a slice of cornbread!

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