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Year of the Soup: Week 14

A giant, meaty ham bone accompanied us home from Easter dinner.

“What on earth are you going to do with this?” I asked on the drive home, staring at the foil wrapped package on my lap.

“You can use it to make Split Pea soup for your soup this week!”  John proclaimed proudly.

“Uh, but I don’t eat ham.”

“Well, then we’ll make two kinds of Split Pea Soup.”

So we did.  As any vegetarian knows, you usually can’t take the meat out of a meat-based recipe and hope for the best.  It just won’t taste the same.  So we made two completely different variations of Split Pea Soup, one vegetarian, and one carnetarian (as John likes to call himself.)  Only John knows which soup actually tastes better.  He claimed to prefer mine, but I think that’s just because it was finished faster :)  Both recipes are listed here, but only mine is photographed.  Advantage vegetarian.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried split peas (yellow, green, or a mix)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional, but adds a nice smoky kick)
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the carrot, celery, onion and thyme, season lightly with pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and split peas, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer until the peas are tender, about 1 hour.
  4. Puree 2/3 of the soup in a blender or food processor, then stir back into the remaining 1/3.
  5. Add chipotle if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add more broth if soup is too thick.  Serve hot.

Carnetarian Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried split peas (use 1/2 yellow & green peas)
  • 1 lb. piece baked ham or meaty ham bone
  • 8 c. water
  • 2 med. onions, finely chopped & 1 onion, peeled & studded with 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped carrots
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/4 c. minced parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
Directions
  1. In large stock pot or soup kettle, combine dry peas, ham and water.  Heat to boiling over high heat and skim off any residue that rises to the surface.
  2. Add chopped onions and whole onion studded with cloves, marjoram and thyme.  Heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered 1 hour.
  3. Add carrots, celery, parsley, salt and pepper.  Simmer, covered, over medium low heat, until peas are very tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove whole onion and ham from soup. Discard onion.  Cut ham into bite-size pieces; discard any bone.  Return ham to pot.
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