One of my favorite soups is homemade split pea, it’s a winter warmer that can’t be beat. I can’t stand the stuff in the can, but I love this recipe. The base was taught to me by an ex-boyfriend. And while that relationship had few positives, this was definitely something good I got out of the deal!
This recipe uses grated carrot and maple syrup for flavor, both of which give it a sweet finish. The grated carrot dissolves into the soup, so for carrot non-fans, give it a try. I added a small uncured ham shank this time, the shredded ham gives a wonderful salty taste that’s a great complement to the sweet. If you’d rather do a vegetarian version, just leave it out but I’d suggest adding a bit of salt to taste. I do not peel either the carrot or the potatoes. This is because A) the most nutritious part of them is in the peel, and B) I am lazy.
- 1 1/4 cups dried split peas
- 8 cups water
- 2 carrots, grated fine
- 3 medium white potatoes, diced into 1/2″ pieces
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- Ham hock or ham shank (or diced ham, if you can’t find the other) [optional]
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (real, not fake maple flavored corn syrup!)
- Sort peas to remove rocks and discolored peas.
- Soak peas in a bowl covered with cold water for an hour.
- Strain through a colander and rinse.
- Put the peas in a large pot with 8 cups cold water. Add all ingredients except maple syrup.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for approximately 4 hours or until peas are dissolved and the soup base is somewhat thickened. It will thicken more after cooling.
- Remove from heat.
- If you used ham hock or ham shank, remove from the soup and let cool so you can touch it, then shred meat with a fork and remove bones/fat. Return the shredded meat to the soup.
- Add maple syrup. Taste, add more maple syrup if you’d like.