Southwestern Split-Pea and Ham Soup

Posted on June 29, 2008. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

Weekly Recipe: Southwestern Split-Pea and Ham Soup

Saturday, March 15, 2008- I was digging around in the freezer the other day and discovered a couple of bags of ham and the ham bone from our Christmas dinner. We ate ham for Christmas and used the leftovers in a couple of breakfasts with ham and eggs and we made some ham salad as well as Dawn’s Hoppin’ John for New Years. And we still had Ham left over!

Not wanting the ham to go to waste, we froze what was left along with the big bone, and I had planned on making some Split Pea Soup with the ham. It is now spring in Texas (though we had a heckuva snow storm a week ago) but I will continue making soups and stews because they are so much fun, very healthy and we can make a big pot that will last us a few days. So today looked like a good day to make some split pea soup.

Southwestern Split Pea Soup:

1) I began by putting just over a half cup of black beans in a pan of water to cook for about two hours.

2) Next I start a big stew pot of water and add one pound of split peas.

3) I cut up the ham chunks (maybe 1 lb.) into small bits and threw them and the ham bone into the split peas.

4)I now add 1/3 cup of brown rice and 1/3 cup of pearl barley in to the split peas (by now you know that I love adding brown rice to almost everything!)

5)Next comes all the veggies: I sliced up 5 big carrots, 2 celery stalks, 2 small red-skinned butter potatos (or, for a stronger visual effect, use the regular Red Skinned potatoes), 1 jalapeno (again, why cook anything without jalapenos?), 1 smallish sweet onion (I’ve been using these imported sweet onions from Chile lately, they are better than the Texas sweet onions but nowhere near as good as Vidalia or Walla Walla), 5 cloves of garlic.

6)I seasoned it with about a teaspoon of salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp of parsley, 1 tsp of marjoram. I did not attempt to make this soup “Hot” so I did not add any cayenne and the jalapeño I used was mild.

7)I added the black beans last, after draining and rinsing them.

Altogether it took about three hours to prepare, cook and simmer. The results were wonderful! The jalapeno-if it is strong- will not be overpowering and will give just a hint of a burn after 3-4 bites. This was somewhat of an experiment, I made it up as I went. The marjoram and parsley idea did come from one recipe I checked out, and it really worked. This is a new favorite!

Visual Effect: When you look at this soup the dominant color is the pale green of the peas. However, the orange carrots, red- skinned potatoes, black beans and pink ham do provide a colorful mosaic that makes the soup extremely appealing visually.

Results: We have not shared this soup with anyone until last night at church, 03-04-2009, during Care Group. Not everyone tried it, but those who did gave us very positive reviews.


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