Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hearty Homestyle Split Pea Soup - gluten free

Split Pea Soup wasn't one of my favorites until I married my husband.  He loves this stuff and I was determined to improve this, "not so popular" entree.  Many pots later....I actually love it now too.

This is a great way to use leftover ham. It's also a great reason to buy some ham!! I include lots of fresh vegetables in this hearty version as well as a fair amount of ham. But feel free to make your own changes, as long as you don't change the broth. That is the secret ingredient in this soup!

 My husband wanted me to use some chicken broth as part of the liquid in our recipe one time. Each time I made it, I added a little more until we loved the finished product.  I have made this soup with many kinds of ham. Whatever is leftover from a feast will work.  Honey ham, spiral ham, basic baked ham, and even leftover lunchmeat.  Ready to give it a try?

Hearty Homestyle Split Pea Soup                Makes about 8 servings
1 pkg. split peas (2 cups)
5 cups chicken broth
2-3 cups water
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped or sliced
3-4 potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 tsp garlic minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 -1 tsp marjoram-leaves
1/2 -1 tsp thyme-leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
any amount of ham desired- cubed

In a large kettle add rinsed peas, broth, potatoes, salt, pepper, cayenne and bay leaves.
In a large skillet add about 1/2 cup broth from kettle and sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and celery for about 5 minutes. Add marjoram and thyme leaves and continue to sauté a couple more minutes. Add more broth from kettle as needed.
Add sautéed mixture to kettle and mix well. Add ham. Cover and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir firmly to crush and blend softened peas. Some potatoes will break down as well.  Soup will continue to thicken naturally on its own, but stirring often will help. It varies, but if needed add an extra cup of broth at the end if soup is thicker than desired. Sometimes I need to and sometimes I don't.

Soup after 1 1/2 hrs of simmering.

Soup after firmly stirring to break down some peas and potatoes.

I hope you enjoy our hearty version of Split Pea Soup!

Leftovers freeze well too!!

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