Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Best Split Pea Soup with Ham

1 pound dried split peas

1 pound of chopped cubes of ham and a ham bone if you have it from leftovers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup onions ( I do not use them  for allergy reasons I have )
1 cup cubed potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon parsley, garlic powder, basil dried
1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme
8 cups chicken broth
3 teaspoons hot sauce optional

Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and soak overnight or use the crockpot method for bean (click here) . Drain the peas and set aside.

 Place  ham and ham bone if you have it, in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic (onions if your using them) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ham bone if using, ham  cubes and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and  rest of spice, herbs. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of chicken broth, thyme, hot sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. (Add more  chicken broth or water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)
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