Split Pea Soup with Country Ham

Although the southern growing season lasts most of the year, there are months when nothing much is coming up from the garden. "Here is a soup you can make in the dead of winter," Tom suggests. "You've dried your peas and beans, and your country ham was preserved and smoked. It's all from the larder."

  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 7 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 ¼ lb country ham bone in
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 lb split peas picked over and rinsed
  • 3 red potatoes diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups medium-diced onions
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 celery stalks medium diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Balsamic Vinegar
Method
  • In a large stockpot, combine the ham, bay leaves, and 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer until the meat is tender (about 2 ½ hours).
  • Remove the ham from the stock and pick it into bit size pieces. Add the split peas, potatoes, and thyme to the stock. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  • In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil on medium high. Sauté the onions, carrots, garlic, and celery. Add the butter and sugar. Cook the vegetables until caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables and potatoes to the split-pea pot. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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