When I was a kid, I hated pea soup. Peas aren't a vegetable I really like, because I don't like the mushy texture. I will eat them in casseroles or soup, but not plain. My mother use to make pea soup, and I never would eat it. After I got married and made pea soup for my husband, I started eating it and came to enjoy it, especially on a cold day with homemade bread.
Yesterday after I finished making a batch of jam I decided to make a big pot of pea soup. Family members save ham bones for me to make this soup, because they would rather have me make it and then just give them containers of the cooked soup. I request that they leave quite a bit of meat on the ham bone. This isn't hard to do with spiral hams, because the ham doesn't get cut all the way thru to the end of the bone.
Anyway, I had 3 ham bones in the freezer, and they needed to be used up. So, I made a triple batch of pea soup. I will give containers of soup to my sons, parents, auntie, brothers and of course save some for us. I like having a container in the freezer for when I go away for a few days. I take out a container and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. Tom will have a cooked meal ready to reheat.
peas, ham, water, diced carrots, onions and celery. I used 6 large stalks of celery, 2 large onions, 4 carrots diced, but I usually just shred the carrots. Salt and pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves.
Recipe on the bag for 1 batch of soup that makes 8 servings:
1 package dry split green peas, rinsed and sorted (check to make sure there are no small stones)
6-8 cups hot water
1 meaty ham bone or ham hock
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 bay leaf..optional
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pan with a lid.
Bring to boil over a medium high heat, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until peas are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and ham bone or hock, cut meat off the bone and dice. I pulled the 3 ham bones from the stock pot, and cut and diced the pieces of ham that I removed from the bones.
Add meat back to soup.
Note..split pea soup is thin when first cooked, but as it sits it will thickens as it stands. Skim off any fat after the soup has cooled. After being refrigerated thin the soup if needed by adding small amounts of water or chicken stock. Heat on low to medium heat, stirring frequently. Peas soup is always best served the next day.