Serves: Makes 8 cups
Time: 1 hour 15 min
It’s fall here. The leaves are starting to change, kids are back at school, there is that earthy smell that makes me want to rake leaves and jump in them. Also earthy, is this very delicious soup. Every time I cook a ham, I throw the bone, with a generous amount of meat on it, in the freezer until I need some comfort food and guess what? Today is the day!
My grandma only ever served one thing from a can, and that is Habitant Pea Soup with Ham. It was the only thing that my grandfather considered edible that was processed. I loved it as a kid. She used to serve it with fresh homemade bread and for desert, black tea in a small dish with brown sugar and more bread. Habitant Pea Soup is a staple here, and is a favourite with everyone I asked. Not from Canada? Sorry friends, I have learned it’s only available here. But don’t be sad, this soup takes split peas to a new level. If you don’t have a ham bone, you can just add some diced ham at the end.
You Will Need:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot – diced
- 1 celery stalk – diced
- 1 small onion – diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/8 tsp cayanne
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups of yellow split peas
- 1 ham bone – with 1 1/2 cups of meat still on or extra on the side to equal 1 1/2 cups.
- 6 cups of stock or water or a combination of the two.
My leftovers came from a glazed ham that favored a sweet spicy glaze. Some of that translated to the soup. If I was using a ham with no glaze I would add nutmeg and 1 tbsp of brown sugar.
In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, carrot, celery, and cook until soft, about 5 min, stirring frequently. Add seasoning and cook for another minute. Add split peas and stir, toasting peas for about 3 min. De-glaze pan with 1 cup of the broth and scrape any brown-bits off the bottom of the pan. Add remaining broth, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When peas is soft, remove pot from heat. Remove the ham bone and the bay leaves. Discard the bay leaves. Using a fork and knife, pull and shred all the remaining meat of the bone and set aside. Moving back to the soup, use a hand blender to carefully puree the soup. If it’s too hot it may splatter so use caution. Add the ham and stir. Garnish with parsley or cilantro (my favourite). For extra creaminess add a dollop of sour cream.