The past few days have been cool and rainy. Good for the flowers, but not good for the spring soccer season. This a comforting bowl of soup to warm the body. The yellow split peas are packed with fiber, they are good for the heart, and they also help stabilize blood sugar levels-- perfect for those energy burning soccer bodies. Aside from the nutritional benefits, it also helps use up Easter ham leftovers--perfect for moms like me. I make this soup year 'round, not just after Easter, so I am listing the liquid ingredients as chicken broth, for that is what I use a majority of the time. However, you can use water and the leftover ham bone to really add a depth of flavor to this soup. As much as I enjoy this right from the pot, storing any leftovers gives it that "next day goodness". On that note, if you do have leftovers, the soup thickens a great deal and needs to be thinned with more broth before reheating and serving. I like to serve this soup with some whole wheat brown soda bread and a little butter to wipe up every last bit of goodness from the bottom of the bowl.
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham
1 pound dried yellow split peas, rinsed and sorted
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock, plus more to thin
2 cups cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, bring the split peas, vegetables, thyme, bay leaf, and stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, the split peas have broken down, and the soup is thickened-- about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add the diced ham and cook just until warmed through. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*The soup thickens if stored in the refrigerator, so you will need to thin it with additional stock when reheating.
Source: The Galley Gourmet