When I have leftover ham (especially a spiral cut ham on the bone) I make this soup with the leftovers. It is delicious and very easy, but takes some time, especially if you make your own amazing ham broth.
Day 1: have a lovely dinner of spiral cut ham
Day 2: make the ham broth
Day 3: make the split pea soup
1 spiral cut ham leftovers
2 lbs split peas, rinsed
8 quarts water
8 diced carrots
6-8 diced celery stalks
1 large onion, diced (or 2 small ones)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
I do not add salt because the ham usually has so much salt in it already.
After your lovely dinner of spiral cut ham you always have leftovers. Well, take off
the good stuff that is cut nicely and you will be left with the top of the spiral cut ham
where the meat really isn’t spiral cut at all and the bone attached, that is what goes
into the huge soup pot with 8 (to 10) quarts of water. Choose the amount of water
depending on how runny or thick you like your soup. Your soup will thicken up on day 2, so having extra broth on hand is great!
- Simmer the ham bone and meat attached to it in 8-10 quarts of water for a day to make the broth. I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help get the bone marrow into the broth and 2 bay leaves, if you like that bay leaf flavor in your broth.
- Run the broth through a strainer, cool on the counter, and refrigerate so the fat rises to the top and “hardens”
- Pick the meat off the cooled bones, remove the fat (this should be really easy if you cooked it long enough) and dice the meat into bite sized pieces (then refrigerate till needed the next day.)
- The next day use a slotted spoon to remove the fat from the top of the broth. This will look very white and congealed.
- Heat the broth until it boils and add the 2 pounds of rinsed split peas, then turn to low to simmer.
- Simmer the peas and parsley until peas are soft. I like to simmer until they completely fall apart and turn into mush! Stir at least every 15 minutes to avoid the peas sticking and burning to the bottom of your pot (you know your pot the best).
- In a large fry pan, sauté in olive oil the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
- Add the veggies to the pot with the peas and broth. Puree a little or all of the soup if desired (or none at all).
- Add the ham cubes to the soup (from #3 above)
- Simmer for at least 15 minutes (or longer if you like. You really can’t ruin this recipe, unless you burn it to the bottom of the stock pot if you don’t stir it.
- Taste, and then add black pepper to taste.
- This is a perfect soup to keep on hand in your freezer to giveaway when someone is sick. It is always better the second day and it freezes REALLY well.