Who doesn’t love a big hearty bowl of pea soup when it’s cold outside? This is one of my favorites and a must make when I bake a ham and don’t want to waste that delicious ham bone. So why do I prefer this recipe over a traditional split pea soup? It’s the small details that make all the difference and will have you cooking this recipe over and over!
- I start this soup when I’m baking the ham. I always prepare my ham with ½ – 1 inch of water at the bottom. This creates the perfect base for any ham soup (like my other favorite 15 Bean and Ham Soup) because that water is flavored by the ham bone and drippings while it’s baking (plus it keeps the ham from drying out). Once the ham is done I simply let that liquid cool, skim off the fat that collected at the top, and use it to flavor my soups.
- I roast off a handful of jalapenos and add them to the soup at the end, giving it a slight hint of heat and extra smokiness that pairs perfectly with the peas.
- I like to blend this soup so it’s thick and creamy, then add finely chopped ham at the end. That gives you the perfect texture to this delicious soup!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped small
- 1 cup carrot peeled and diced ¼ inch cubes
- 1½ cup celery diced ¼ inch cubes
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- ⅔ cup leek about 1 leek, sliced thin
- 2 lb meaty ham bone
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 fresh rosemary 6" branch (see notes)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaf (see notes)
- 2 cups ham stock see notes
- 6 cups water
- 1 lb dried split peas stones removed and rinsed
- 6 large jalapenos
- Over medium high heat, add oil to large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, ground cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring often until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic and leeks and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the vegetables. Add ham bone, ham stock, water, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour.
- While ham bone is cooking, preheat oven to 425°F and lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Wash and dry jalapenos, then cut in half and de-seed. Place on baking sheet with inside of pepper facing up spaced about 1 inch apart. Lightly spray with cooking oil and salt and pepper to taste. Flip over and lightly spray with cooking oil. Bake for 16-19 minutes or until skin start to lightly brown on the edges. Set aside and let cool.
- Add peas and continue to simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove ham bone from pot and add roasted jalapenos (you can roughly chop them if desired). Continue to simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, until peas are cooked through and soft.
- While the soup is finishing up, remove ham meat from the bone and finely chop. Set aside.
- Once peas are cooked through, remove from heat. Discard bay leaves and the herb bouquet. Using a hand blender or standard blender, blend soup until smooth. Add ham and mix in well. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!