The excesses of Thanksgiving are behind me (literally as well as figuratively, I'm afraid), and now simple hearty fare like this split pea soup is what I'm craving. It's a great way to use up the leftovers from your holiday ham or you could opt for a vegetarian version. I love the humble celery root in this recipe. It won't win any beauty contests, but it imparts a subtle celery flavor and adds body and texture to the soup. Some pumpernickel croutons or a nice slice of crusty bread make a perfect accompaniment. Make some for now and freeze some for later- it'll come in handy when you need a quick meal on a cold evening!
Split Pea Soup with Celeriac and Ham
1 ham bone with the fat trimmed off OR 1 Tablespoon Better Than Boullion Ham Base OR a smoked ham hock. For a vegetarian/vegan option, use water or vegetable broth instead.
1 lb. dried split peas
1 small/medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery root, peeled and finely diced
1 leek, thoroughly washed and finely sliced (optional- if you don't use it though, add a bit more onion)
1/2 lb. cubed cooked ham -or however much you like in your soup (optional)
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse split peas in a colander, and go through them to make sure there are no rocks. (Yes, I've found them before in bags of beans!)
- Put all ingredients except cubed ham, salt and pepper in large soup pot with 1 1/2-2 qts. water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 1-2 hours, or until peas and vegetables are very tender.
- Remove ham bone. If you prefer your soup smooth, use a stick blender to puree it. Add cubed ham (and any ham remaining on soup bone) and season to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes more to warm the ham through.
- Serve with pumpernickel croutons if desired. This soup will thicken more as it cools. To reheat, you may need to add water.