Tuesday, November 2, 2010

National Split Pea Soup Week with Grandma's recipe

I love a good holiday, and I am always amused by National Recognition months days or weeks.  For example the first week of November is National Split Pea Soup Week.

I have never been fond of peas and I dislike Split Pea soup, even though making it was a tradition in my family with the Ham bone from any large ham, usually the one we had for Christmas.  Imagine my surprise when I found out people ate Turkey for Christmas, because we never did.  That ham bone was something my father always made sure was kept because he loved split pea soup.

My grandmother had a recipe which Split pea soup which I will share with you here, so you can have your own celebration of Split Pea Soup week!

Split Pea and Ham Soup
By Ethel Lautanen

1 ham bone
1 lb. dry split peas
4 cloves garlic, minced
1- 2  tablespoons butter
2 quarts water
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can evaporated milk or 1 cup light cream or milk

Empty package of split peas into a colander or bowl. Sort through well, removing foreign matter and imperfect peas. Rinse well. Soak for two hours in 2 cups water.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté minced garlic in butter until garlic is golden, but not brown in color. Add ham bone, peas and the water they soaked in and 2 extra quarts of water, and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil for 1 minute; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour. Remove cover and simmer an additional hour or until soup is desired consistency. Add baby carrots during final 20-30 minutes of cooking (may be roughly chopped, if desired, or leave whole).
If you prefer a pureed soup, process using a hand blender before adding carrots.
Taste soup one half hour before serving; add additional garlic or garlic powder and salt and pepper, as desired.  I like to add some savory or rosemary at this time too.
Stir in milk or cream 10 minutes before serving. If you have any leftover ham, add at this time.. Remove bay leaves before serving.

If you do not want to make this recipe, the Backyard Patch does have a soup mix for Split Pea Soup.  Unlike other blends I adapted from my grandmother's recipes, this one is unique and includes pasta for a new twist on an old favorite.  If you enjoy soups in winter time, please stop by our listings because all the seasonally available soups are now posted. 

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