Split peas are a legume and are sold split and dried in most grocery stores. Split peas are deliciously inexpensive and you can create a large pot of hearty soup for just a few dollars. I like to cook my split peas with a ham bone or leftover ham shank after holidays, because it adds a nice meaty flavor. You don’t need to soak the split peas, like regular dried beans, because they breakdown much easier in the cooking process.
Split Pea Soup is hearty and smokey, with the addition of ham and one bowl really fills you up. I like to serve this soup on the weekends, with the hope of saving a little for lunches during the week.
1 ham bone or shank, leftover from previous dinner or purchase a smoked ham hock
1 – 16 ounce bag of split peas, organic preferably
1 large white onion
1 – 32 ounce carton of chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 lemon, cut in half
sour cream, optional
1. Remove the onion skin and dice up the onion. Add 3 tablespoon olive oil to a large pot over medium heat and add onion. Saute the onion for 4 minutes until translucent.
2. Next, add the split peas to the pot and continue to cook for 3 minutes until slightly toasted.
3. Add the chicken broth and water to the pot and stir to combine.
4. Next, remove the ham bone from the packaging and place it in the center of the pot.
5. Turn the heat to simmer and cook the soup for at least 3 hours, covered with a lid slightly cracked, until the peas break down and the meat starts to fall off the bone. With a large spoon, scrape the ham from the bone into the soup to remove all the meat. Remove the bones from the soup.
6. Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup, for added flavor. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
7. Ladle the soup into bowls and dollop with sour cream. Enjoy!