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Split Pea Soup with Ham

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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I make big pots of this soup in the winter when I'm looking for something that is homey, easy, and cheap to cook. You may wish to double the recipe and freeze some for future meals. If you have any leftover roasted garlic, substitute that for the raw garlic; same with any leftover ham (add it, too). Also, you don't have to presoak the peas; presoaking just makes the actual cooking go a little quicker.


  1. 1 small smoked ham hock (or ham bone)
  2. 8 cups water, plus more as needed
  3. 2 cups dried split peas, presoaked for a few hours, then drained
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  6. 1 small yellow onion, diced
  7. 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  8. 2 cloves garlic, chopped (or roasted garlic)
  9. 1 tsp. crushed caraway seeds (optional)
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the ham hock and water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and skim off any foam and fat from the surface. Add the drained split peas and bay leaves.
  2. Cook peas until they begin to disintegrate, 40 minutes to an hour, then remove ham hock. When the ham hock is cool, remove the meat from the bone and shred it.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Over medium-low heat, sauté the onions and carrots until the onions have softened and the carrots are just tender. Add the chopped garlic, stir, and cook another minute. Add the vegetables, ham meat and crushed caraway (if using) to the stockpot with the cooked split peas.
  4. Simmer another 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and adding additional water if the soup is too thick; stir frequently to keep the peas from sticking and scorching on the bottom of the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


When reheating this soup, you'll probably have to add more water if you like your soup more brothy than stodgy.

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