Sunday, December 27, 2015

Leftover Love: Hamhock and Split Pea Soup

Hamhock and Split Pea Soup
Leftovers are always a fun challenge after the holidays.  Most of us don't feel like cooking, but cold weekends and football games usually motivate me to get creative with a little comfort food!

I love the flavors that the leftover ham gives this soup.  This year I used an orange zest glaze on my ham that really gave the soup a hint of light, citrus flavor in the background. 

If you prefer a creamy soup, you can always substitute a cup or two of the broth for heavy cream.  Just be sure not to boil the cream too much and curdle the soup.  I prefer just to add a little sour cream as garnish when I serve the soup.  It gives the creamy texture and cools the soup a bit when it's right out of the dutch oven.

Hamhock and Split Pea Soup
  • 24 oz. dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 64 oz. chicken stock 
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large pork shoulder ham bone (meat attached) or about 16 oz. diced ham
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4-5 chopped green onions, chopped
  • 1 large clove of fresh garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

  1. In an 8 qt. pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, green onions and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until soft.  
  2. Add the peas and chicken stock, stir to combine and deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping it with a wooden spoon while stirring.  Add the ham bone, bay leaves and parsley.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil. 
  3. Reduce the heat, and allow the soup to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until all elements are soft.  Adjust seasoning (salt and pepper) and remove thyme sticks and bay leaves before serving.
Notes:  For a smooth soup, blend with a hand blender just before serving.  I like to use a potato masher and just mash some of the peas up before serving so I have some chunks and some smooth textures.

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