Split Pea and Ham Soup

By:  Julie

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.

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Preparation:

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.

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Left-over Chicken Fettuccine In A Light Cream Sauce

The other night I made some delicious Turkish Chicken and have been having a creative food-fest with the leftovers.  Yesterday I made some Chicken Salad and today, pasta!  Yummy, yummy pasta.  I have to start by telling you I don’t really like Alfredo sauce.  I find most of it sweet and rich and too thick.  I have never really had an Alfredo Sauce that made me stop and swoon the way I’ve seen some of my girl friends do.  Hence, I’ve never made it.  This sauce is sort of like Alfredo, but since it doesn’t use heavy cream it is not as sweet and rich and also not as fatty.  You’re very sad, I know.  I like light sauces, I almost always pick a tomato based sauce over a cream sauce, with the exception of some white wine creations which I love.

Don’t have any leftover chicken?  Slice and saute a chicken breast and set aside before starting.

You Will Need

  • 10oz of fettuccine
  • 2 tbsp pasta water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups of sugar snap peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 leftover chicken thighs, chopped
  • 100g of smoked Gouda (or any other favourite)
  • 1 cup of half and half cream
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Prepare pasta as per package directions, reserve 2 tbsp of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.  Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat and add onion and a pinch of salt.  Cook 2 or 3 minutes until softened, add peas and red pepper.  Cook until tender crisp, about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook 1 min more until fragrant.  Add cheese, cream, pasta water and chicken and bring to a simmer. This needs some salt and a generous amount of ground pepper.  Don’t be shy with the pepper, you won’t be sorry.  Add pasta and simmer until slightly thickened.  Serve immediately and garnish additional Parmesan.