Split Pea with Ham Soup is one of my all-time favourites. This soup is filled with deliciousness and is ready quickly! It is the perfect answer to “What’s for dinner?” And…it’s even better warmed up for lunch the next day.
Here is a perfect example of how suggestible I am when it comes to food: As I was driving to the shop yesterday, the fog was incredibly thick. I thought to myself, “This fog is as thick as pea soup!” Then, of course, my next thought was, “Oh! Wouldn’t some split pea soup be just wonderful for dinner?!”
That was all it took for me to dream of a bowl of thick, hot, tasty split pea soup. All. Day. Long. I’ve told you all before how much I love soups. I really love soups. I’ve often said, if I could marry soup I probably would. There is nothing more satisfying when the weather turns chilly than a big, steaming bowl of soup.
My love affair with split pea soup is one that goes back many years; I’d meet up with my darling wherever and whenever I could. One of our favourite rendezvous spots was a little tea room in downtown Nashville, where I worked at the time. Satsuma was run by a mother and son and they offered up some of the most delightful Southern food. It was every Thursday when they would give me the opportunity to tryst with my amore.
Every Thursday, one of the specials on the menu was a bowl of split pea soup, served with half of an honest-to-Pete-oven-roasted-turkey-sliced-ever-so-thick sandwich. I was hooked. Anyone who knew me well would know exactly where to find me on any given Thursday afternoon. I’d be at Satsuma, huddled in an intimate corner, at a tiny little table, locking lips with my love.
There are many ways to prepare split pea soup, but this recipe is my own, and is patterned after the split pea soup they served at Satsuma. The peas are cooked until tender, but not completely dissolved. There are chunks of onion, carrot, celery and ham, and it’s packed full of other wonderful flavours like garlic and thyme and stock and brandy. It is just dreamy. Why, it’s good enough to marry…if you could marry soup, that is.
I hope you’ll try it.
- 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
- 1 big sprig fresh thyme, tied in a bundle with butcher's twine* (or 1 teaspoon dried leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 8 cups stock (I used turkey stock, you could use chicken stock, or water, or a combination. Using stock really enriches the flavor of the soup)
- ¼ cup brandy
- 8 ounces cooked ham, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 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 a couple more minutes.
- Add six cups of the stock, the brandy, thyme, herbes de Provence and split peas, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
- Add the diced ham and another cup of stock, stir.
- Cover and continue to simmer watching to see if the final cup of stock is needed (meaning if the peas are absorbing the stock readily - you don't want it runny, but you don't want it too thick).
- Continue to simmer until the peas are soft, completely soft, but not completely dissolved. Do not puree.
- Serve in a hot bowl and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions.