Mom's Split Pea and Ham Soup
|Split green peas||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Meaty ham bone||1 Pound|
|Cold water||8 Cup (128 tbs)|
|Onions||2 , chopped|
|Carrots||2 , chopped|
|Celery stalks||2 , chopped|
|Chopped fresh italian parsley||2 Tablespoon|
|Dried thyme||1 Pinch|
|Coarsely chopped cooked ham||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Freshly ground pepper||To Taste|
1. If cooked ham is used, remove the fat and a major portion meat, chop the meat and keep aside the ham to be used later.
2. Take a cheesecloth, add 1 bay leaf, 2 parsley stalks, 1 garlic clove and 6 peppercorns and using a string tie the cheesecloth.
3. Rinse split peas, immerse in cold water and allow to soak for 6 hours to overnight. Drain, rinse and keep aside.
4. Take a deep, large soup pot or saucepan, add ham bone and peas. Pour in 6 to 8 cups of cold water, sufficient to cover the entire ham bone. Mix in chopped onions, celery, carrots, thyme and parsley. If bouquet garni is used, add to the mixture. Tie the garni to pot handle so that it can be removed easily.
5. Cover and allow the soup to come to boil. Remove the foam. Lower the heat to minimum, cover partially and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, stirring intermittently, till peas become puree consistency and ham falls of bone. Take out ham bone and bouquet garni and allow to chill overnight.
6. Take out, remove any frozen fat from the top, place on heat and simmer for about 1 to 2 hours. Mix in chopped ham and heat well. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve as meai-in-a-bowl along with bread slices or hot biscuits.