Although I am lucky enough to winter in Florida, there are times when what I want and need is to spend the afternoon in the kitchen fussing over a pot of soup. For some time I have been on a lentil soup jag that seems to have finally run its course, because I suddenly realized that I hadn’t made split pea soup in a long, long time. The peas fall apart and the texture can only be described as soothing. Even in Florida, you sometimes need to be soothed by soup.
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch dice
- 2 celery stalks, cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1 inch dice
- 1 smoked ham slice with bone, cut into bite size pieces (Note: You may only want to use about 2/3 of the ham slice, reserving the rest for another use.)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound split peas
- 8 cups water, plus more if needed
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Tie thyme, parsley and bay leaf with kitchen twine.
- Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add diced ham (plus the bone) and 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grinding of pepper to the vegetables, stir, and let cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add split peas and 8 cups of water, plus the herb bundle.
- Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add diced potatoes and ½ teaspoon of salt to soup and continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove herb sprigs, bay leaf and ham bone. Add more water if soup seems too thick.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.