Recipe courtesy of Darla Shine, author of Happy Housewives. Warm up with this comfort soup after a day of raking leaves or from a late afternoon game.

Ingredients

  • 1 ham bone (leftover*)
  • 2 cups ham (3/4-inch cubed, about 10 ounces*)
  • 2 1/4 cups green split peas (1 pound)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery (sliced)
  • 1 white onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 medium carrot (thinly sliced)
  • 2 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 bay leaf (large)
  • 1 cup croutons (herb-seasoned)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • black pepper (to taste)

Directions

  1. Sort and thoroughly rinse split peas in colander under cold running water. Place peas in stock pot or 4-or 6-quart Dutch oven. Add ham bone and 6 cups of water. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté celery, onions, garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add celery mixture to pea mixture in soup pot. Stir in 3 cups chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, salt and bay leaf. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peas are very soft and break apart when mixture is briskly stirred. Stir in ham the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  4. Remove ham bone from soup and remove any meat from bone and return the meat to the soup mixture. Discard bone. Remove and discard bay leaf. Briskly stir soup mixture with wooden spoon to break up peas. If necessary, stir in enough of the remaining 1 cup chicken broth to make soup of desired consistency. Season to taste with pepper.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top each with a few croutons and sprinkle with parsley.
  6. For thinner soup an additional 1 cup of chicken broth 10 minutes before serving.
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