I realize that I’m making quite a claim here, by stating that this soup is the BEST ever, but.. it just is. My mom used to make this and I was sure that I couldn’t do it like she does, but (GASP!)… I think I DID!!!! The secret’s in the ham bone. Now if you are unable or unwilling to use a ham bone/ham, then simply ignore all ham references and follow the recipe without that part. But if you really want award winning pea soup… this is what you do (and please do it… please please please, you’ll love it SOOOOOOOOOO much…)
Go get a spiral ham. I recently had my first Easter at my house, it was just my husband and I… our first holiday alone together! I was so excited to make a delicious, traditional polish meal that my mom makes every Easter, and this includes a delicious spiral ham.
Eat the ham, but save some leftovers for this soup, and SAVE THAT HAM BONE! It’s like GOLD now. If you’re like me, and you could only find a spiral ham that could feed half of the United States, think of clever ways to use the leftovers (aside from this soup)- I made chicken cordon bleu, omelets, Reuben’s, (with ham instead of corned beef), grilled ham & cheese sandwiches…. Etc. ! Although you might not have an issue getting the size you want, I simply chose to get mine the night before Easter 😉
Now- if there’s still meat on the bone, that’s fine, it doesn’t need to be cleaned completely, (in fact, don’t clean it completely)… it gives the broth in this soup SO much rich, delicious flavor you’ll fall over. OVER!
You may choose to soak your split peas overnight or for a few hours before making this soup. Unsoaked peas take from 1 to 2 hours of simmering; soaked peas take about 40 minutes. I soaked the peas, but also let the soup simmer for hours, this gives it plenty of time to thicken and to fully absorb the flavor from that ham bone.
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 cups (a 1 lb. bag) of dry split peas
- 2 cups diced ham
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ Tablespoons onion powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt (optional- the ham bone adds salt to the soup already)
- 1 large russet potato, chopped into cubes
- Put the water, onions, carrots, & ham bone, in a large pot together and bring to a boil.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for the potato. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add the potato about 40 minutes prior to eating. When the potato pieces are done, you’re ready to eat! It’s as easy as that 😉