Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Split Pea Soup


You may have noticed that I'm gravitating toward make-ahead, cozy meals this winter. I think that it's easy to feel bogged down by the gross weather, your ever growing to-do list, and the lack of daylight this time of year. These factors can easily convince us to throw our healthy eating resolutions out the window and run to the nearest take-out option. 

The meal I'm posting should hopefully save you from scenario B. Help yourself out with easy, wallet-friendly, healthy, make-ahead split pea soup. Will you give it a try?

This soup is great because it's a nice change from the typical lentil soup or beef stew. It also packs in the vegetables in a hearty, filling, yet lean way.

And the best thing about having soup for dinner is what? Come on...any guesses?

Crusty bread! Treat yourself to some good quality artisan bread. If you are in the Seattle area, I highly recommend any of the crusty bread options from Essential Baking Company. It's great dunked into a bowl of this hot, homemade soup.

Enjoy, friends!


Split Pea Soup

1 ham shank, chopped into cubes (see what I used in the picture below)
1 pound green split peas (find these in the bulk section at the grocery store)
3 quarts organic chicken or vegetable stock
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon oregano
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cup carrots, thinly sliced (I made it easy on myself and used the shredded carrots from Trader Joes)
1 cup celery, chopped

Separate ham shank bone from meat. Chop the meat in to small cubes and set aside.

In a large stock pot, combine peas, stock, ham shank bone, onion, garlic, oregano, pepper, and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for about 90 minutes.

Remove the shank bone and add carrots and celery to pot. Simmer uncovered for about 90 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf, and blend the with an immersion blender or blend in batches using traditional blender (be careful with the hot liquid).

Return blended soup to the pot, add chopped ham pieces. Simmer another 30 minutes and serve.


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