A delicious and hearty soup made dried green split peas, ham or hocks, and seasoned with thyme, allspice, and bay leaves. Using a leftover, meaty ham bone from the holidays makes this soup perfect for serving on New Year’s Day. If you don’t have leftover ham, simply substitute ham hocks to add a smoky flavour. Don’t use leftover ham that has been cooked or basted with anything sweet like honey, maple or brown sugar as it adds an unpleasant flavour to the soup.
- 1 pound dry green split peas
- 2 quarts water
- 1 meaty ham bone, or 3 ham hocks, rinsed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- dash pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas.
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cover dried peas with 2 quarts of water. Bring split peas to a boil; boil gently for 2 minutes. Set aside to soak for 1 hour. Add ham bone or ham hocks, chopped onion, garlic powder, marjoram, thyme, bay leaves and pepper. Bring split pea soup to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove ham bone or ham hocks from soup. If using ham bone, remove meat from bone; dice and return to pea soup with chopped celery and carrot. If using ham hocks – cut away the outer skin and remove the meat from the bones and return meat to soup with celery and carrots.
- Simmer split pea soup slowly for an additional 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the soup and add salt as desired.
- Serve with crusty bread or toasted croutons.