And what’s more festive than violently green soup? I LOVE split pea soup, it’s warm and filling and green! I hope that your Christmas is warm and filling to both your belly and your heart.
You can make this soup vegetarian by simply omitting the ham and substituting vegetable stock. If you wanted a little protein boost, you could add in some beans or lentils to puree into the soup.
I had a big ol’ ham bone in the freezer leftover from Thanksgiving, which I used to make a ham stock. I just tossed it into the slow cooker with some hot water and let it simmer while I was at work to make an easy ham stock. After, I picked the meat off the bone to add into the soup later. If you don’t have any extra ham bones lying around, you could substitute with chicken or vegetable stock. Another delicious option would be to cook up a few slices of bacon to use instead of leftover ham bits.
Split Pea Soup with Ham –served with ciabatta bread
Serves 6 – Cost approx $.46 per person, including bread
- 2 Tbs bacon grease or vegetable oil
- 2 onions, large dice ($.33)
- 3 carrots, peeled, large dice ($.22)
- 3 ribs celery, large dice ($.14)
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 8 – 10 cups of ham stock or vegetable stock
- 1 lb split peas ($.79)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 parmesan cheese rind, optional – I think it gives a nice flavor to the broth
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 cups ham, shredded or cubed ($.75)
Begin by sauteing the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the bacon grease for 5 minutes. Add in the stock and bring to a boil. Add in the split peas, bay leaves, parmesan rind, salt and pepper.
Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the split peas are soft and fully cooked through. Remove the cheese rind and bay leaves. Remove from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Add in the ham bits (or bacon if you’re going that route) back to the soup and let simmer another 5 minutes to meld the flavors. Easy, no?