Split Pea Soup & Garlic Butter Croutons
Split Pea with Ham
- 1/4 cup high quality butter
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
- 1 cup diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt , plus additional to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper , plus additional to taste
- 2cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dill (optional)
- 1 pound dried split peas , rinsed and sorted
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)
- 2 teaspoons fresh organic thyme leaves , chopped and quantity divided
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup diced ham (1/4-inch dice)
- Buttery Garlic Croutons , for serving (recipe below)
- Fresh grated Romano cheese
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter until foaming subsides. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic. Stir in split peas.
Add ham bone, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Stir in chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until split peas are cooked down and soup is thickened to desired consistency. (Stir more frequently as the soup begins to thicken.)
Add diced ham during the last 15 minutes of cooking. When ready to serve, remove and discard ham bone and bay leaf, and stir in remaining 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Serve hot with croutons, fresh grated Romano cheese and cracked black pepper.
Ham Bone Substitution:
*If you don’t have a leftover ham bone, two ham hocks can be substituted. If using ham hocks, omit the 1 cup of diced ham. When you remove the ham hocks from the pot, shred the meat off of the bones and return it to the pot before serving. Discard the bones.
The soup can be stored, tightly-covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days, or frozen for 2-3 months. When reheating (to 160 degrees F), add additional stock, if needed, to thin the soup to your desired consistency.
GARLIC BUTTER CROUTONS
- 8 tablespoons high quality butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Garlic salt (optional)
- Fresh ground pepper (optional)
- 3/4 of a 16 oz loaf cut into 1 inch thick slices of French bread, then cut into cubes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a large saute pan (I use a wok), melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add bread cubes, and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt & fresh ground pepper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Check frequently to prevent burning. Cool.