It is cold and overcast today, one of those days in which you want to curl up in front of a fire and have a nice hot soup and fresh homemade bread. So I think we will make one of my favorite foods. A good split pea soup and some homemade bread. Years ago, my wife made this soup in a restaurant in which she worked. It was one of the most popular items on their menu.
Every time we fix a ham, the soup bone always goes in the freezer for days like today. She always leaves a bit of extra ham on the bone to enhance the flavor. Spilt peas store well and are a good addition to your storage. We store them in five-gallon buckets with Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
Ingredients for split pea soup.
- 4 cups dried green split peas
- About 16 cups of water (I use broth, vegetable or chicken)
- 2 medium onions, chopped medium fine
- 2 cups finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- 4 meaty ham hocks or large ham bone with meat left on
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and sort the split peas, rinse well and then drain. Add the following ingredients to a large 10-quart pan, 16 cups water, peas onion, celery, carrots, ham hocks, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce and simmer until the meat falls off. This usually takes about 2 hours or longer. Take the bone or (bones) out and cut up the meat remaining on bone. You can also cut up the other pieces if they are too large.
Serve the split pea soup with fresh whole wheat sourdough bread. In an emergency, you may not have fresh ham, but canned ham, freeze-dried ham, or even spam would work. Split pea soup is an easy dish to make on a sunny day with a solar cooker.