I enjoy ham. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. (Forgive the download, but it really is necessary. Enjoy.) Sadly, as much as I enjoy a good ham dinner, it's not as though I can, in good conscience, make ham every week.
Okay, I could. But as it stands, we don't. However, we did have a glorious ham for Easter, bone-in and spiral cut, and I was in soup mode over the weekend. Pea, bean, potato? What could be the best combination of starch and pork? I decided on pea, this time around.
Spiced Yellow Pea Soup
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 - 14 oz bag dried split yellow peas
1 ham bone
2 cups diced or shredded ham
2 cups baby carrots, halved
3 quarts cold water
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 strips of bacon, cooked (Did I really say 'optional'?)
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon
In a large kettle, heat oil and add onions, diced carrots and salt. Sweat until tender, then add curry powder, dill, basil and cinnamon. Stir until spices become aromatic. Add one bay leaf, split peas and ham bone, then cover with three quarts of cold water. (If you're using a small measuring cup, that's 12 cups of water.) Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover for an hour or until peas are just tender.
Remove the ham bone and the bay leaf, then puree the soup in a blender or with a stick blender. Remember that if you do this in a standard blender, take the plug out of the lid and cover with a towel, or you'll have an Exorcist experience all over your kitchen. Return soup to pot with ham and remaining carrots, and simmer an additional two hours or until soup is reduced by 1/4.
For the garnish, combine the bacon and spices in a food processor (thank you, Magic Bullet!) and process until fine. I used pre-cooked bacon for this, and microwaved it for 20 seconds with the spices before processing.
This makes eight hearty servings, and if you feel you need to wait for cooler weather to have soup, the bone will freeze well.
And okay, so you could use the green split peas. However, even though I like most every shade of green out there, I find something unappealing about pea soup green. Either way, this was delicious.
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