This month’s theme is “Memory Soups” and my recipe for Split Pea with Ham Soup is chock full of wonderful memories.
Wendy, from A Day in the Life on the Farm, is not only the founder of our little group of Soup Saturday Swappers, she is the host for this month’s theme of Memory Soups. Her instructions to us were:
“Share a soup that has special memories for you. Perhaps it is a soup that was served each holiday season. Maybe the soup your Mom or Grandma gave you when you were sick. A soup from a special dinner date or vacation. Share not only the recipe but the memories associated with it.”
Here’s why I love Split Pea Soup with Ham: Back when I was a City Girl/Career Girl, living in Nashville, there was a little restaurant located on Union Street downtown that has been around forever serving the business crowds. Satsuma Tea Room was one of my favorite lunch haunts.
Every Thursday their menu would include an offering of half an honest to goodness, oven-roasted, thick-sliced turkey sandwich and a bowl of Split Pea with Ham Soup. The turkey sandwich always reminded me of my favorite thing about Thanksgiving leftovers: the first turkey sandwich!
So, most Thursdays you’d find me in Satsuma with a bowl of Split Pea with Ham Soup and Half a Turkey Sandwich. It was my favorite thing. In. The. World.
That got me thinking, though, one year after Thanksgiving. I had all the fixin’s to replicate that favorite lunch of mine! I had oven-roasted turkey! I had ham! I could make some Split Pea with Ham Soup to go along with my first Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich!
It’s been a tradition for me to make Split Pea with Ham Soup on Thanksgiving weekend ever since. The soup is a fixture for supper the night I decorate our fifteen foot Christmas tree!
After I carve all the meat off my turkey carcass, and make a nice stock to freeze, I take some of that stock to make this soup. Of course, you could use chicken stock (and I do when I don’t have turkey stock on hand). The stock really adds so much flavor to the soup!
Another flavor bump comes from the addition of the brandy. I also use vermouth, often. You could use a dry white wine as well. But do add one of the three. Additionally, the thyme and marjoram are perfect in this soup; they really brighten the split pea flavor.
I hope you’ll try my recipe for Split Pea with Ham Soup. I modeled it after my favorite soup, from my favorite lunch spot from back in the day.
- 1 pound bag split green peas, washed, picked and drained
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- ½ cup carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 32 ounces stock (I used turkey or chicken stock)
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1 big sprig fresh thyme, tied in a bundle with butcher's twine* (or ½ teaspoon dried leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon marjoram leaves
- 8 ounces cooked ham, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- additional water as needed for desired consistency
- In a medium-sized stock pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue to saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the stock, water, brandy, thyme, marjoram and split peas, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
- Add the diced ham, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and continue to simmer watching to see if any additional water is needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Continue to simmer until the peas are soft, completely soft, but not completely dissolved. Do not puree.
Also, check out the other contributions to Memory Soups in the links below:
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