In case you missed the numerous other times I have mentioned it on this blog….. I LOVE SOUP. It is probably one of the only things that makes winter even barely tolerable to me. I am NOT made for the cold. Alabama is about as mild a winter as you will get in North America, and yet every time the temperature dips below 4o degrees, I find myself longing to be back to the equator. Anyway… soup! AAhhhhh….. soup is my consolation in all of this. I could have soup every day of the week, but my sweet husband would be very, very unimpressed. Over our 8 years of marriage, many a compromise have been made. One of them is in regard to soup. Soup is only acceptable at our house as a main meal if it has a meat of some sort thrown in, and most importantly, is a thick and chunky soup (sorry, chicken noodle soup, you have been eliminated).
Thankfully, this is one soup that meets everyone’s approval at my house. It can be made without the ham bone, but if you happen to have a bone chilling in the fridge from the Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas meal, this is the perfect use for it. I made this a couple weeks ago from the ham left over from Thanksgiving, and left overs never tasted so yummy. It was a good change from the overindulgent feast. You could also buy a ham hock and throw it in. The bone adds depth to the flavor of the soup. Serve with some warm toasted bread, and it is sheer bliss. You could also serve this with some steamed rice, or a side salad. Whatever you do… make it soon. You will be glad you did.
Recipe yields about 8 cups.
1 pound green split peas
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
Ham bone (optional, but adds great flavor)
2 cups diced ham
7 cups broth (I used chicken) *** you could also use 7 cups water and crumbled bouillon cubes***
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less to your preference)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste (You may not need any, depending on the sodium content in your ham and broth)
2 Tablespoon fresh parsley to garnish
1.Place the peas on a rimmed tray or baking sheet, and sort through, discarding any shriveled or broken peas, debris or stones. Rinse with cold water.
2. In a stock pot, put in the split peas and enough water to cover the peas, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In the same pot, heat the oil. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until veggies start to soften. Add garlic, and cook for a minute. Add the peas, ham, broth, black and red pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Check for salt and add more if needed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about an hour. After an hour, check if the peas are done. They should be soft. If not, simmer for another 15 minutes.
4. Once the soup is done, remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove the ham bone, and shred off any left over meat and return to pot. Discard bone. Add in the fresh parsley (it really brightens up the flavor) and enjoy!
Devotion For The Day:
1st Peter 5:5-8
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift your up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Be self controlled and alert. The enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering.