You know how flavors can bring back vivid memories? Split pea soup is like that for me. One whiff of it’s smoky scent, and I feel the chilly spring afternoon air as I sat at my family’s wrought-iron patio set. My grandfather had returned from a favorite deli with sandwiches and soups, and raved over how good the split pea was. The criss-cross of metal pressed into my thighs as I agreed to try the soup — though I was rather skeptical about it. My legs dangled off the edge of the chair, too short to reach the ground, as I dipped the plastic spoon cautiously into the paper cup of soup.
It was amazing. I was totally surprised by how much I loved split pea. Heck, I think I surprised everyone when I ate a whole cup of it. The salty, smoky flavors, mingling with the slight sweetness of the split peas.
Until a few years ago, I never dreamed of making split pea soup myself. But when you bake up a ham every Easter (like I do!), it’s so easy to whip together with a few simple ingredients.
While this recipe for Easy Split Pea Soup is easy, it is time consuming too — you’ll need to let it cook for a few hours before you can dig in. So be sure that you have enough time for it to cook before you start making it. The good news though? Most of the cooking time is totally hands-off.
PS – This is fabulous served with a buttery grilled cheese sandwich.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth (I prefer Kitchen Basics)
- 4 cups water
- 1 ham bone with a little meat still attached
- 1 lb dried split peas, soaked according to package directions
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the onions are softened and begin to brown ever so slightly.
- Add the stock or broth, water, ham bone and split peas. Stir well to combine. Bring to a slow boil and then set the timer for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, stir again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook, stirring a couple times, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover and taste. Season, as needed, with salt and pepper to desired taste. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.