Inspired by “The Familiars” by Stacey Halls, I set out to make a modern, flavorful ham and pea pottage. Behold, my ham and split pea soup.
H am and split pea soup is a great way to use up leftover ham. Split peas are relatively inexpensive and are available year-round. With a few added ingredients, this soup is elevated to a tasty main dish that keeps its cozy, humble roots.
Ham and Split Pea Soup
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb ham, diced w/ large pieces of fat removed
- 1 lb split peas, rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup white wine
- salt and pepper to taste (be sure to taste test before adding as the ham will add salt)
- Heat olive oil in heavy bottom pit over medium-low heat.
- Add onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves to the oil. Cover, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft.
- Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions caramelize. (This process can take awhile. Be patient and let the onions darken to a deep caramel color.)
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add ham; allow to brown slightly.
- Add split peas, stock and water, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 – 1.5 hours, until split peas are soft.
- Add wine and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Using a blender or stick blender, blend until desired texture is reached. (Use caution when blending hot liquids!)
Tips: Adding the wine at the end of the cooking process prevents the acid from affecting the tenderness of the split peas.
The first course was brought out: a spread of mutton pies, fallow deer pasties, and ham and pea pottage.The Familiars