Split Pea and Ham Soup

Let me start off by saying I am not a split pea soup kind of person. No one in the family is. We just don’t say “Hmmm, I want soup – yeah, let’s drink one with smashed peas.”

But mom is adventurous and found this amazing recipe by Emeril Lagasse, curing us of our phobia of pea soup. As my brother said, “Mom will try these weird random recipes, but this one is actually a keeper.”

It was quite chilly in Texas when we had this soup, and the weather was just rain, rain, and more rain. We played in our family scramble golf tournament; in all our years of competing in it, 9 or 10 years now, this was the first time where it rained. We’ve frozen a couple years, but never rained on (and adding insult to injury, it was also bitterly cold)

*in the car, on the way to the golf course*
Mom: I hope they cancel it, I hope they cancel it.

*on the driving range, warming up*
Mom: I hope they cancel it, I hope they cancel it.

*after finishing first hole*
Mom: I hope they cancel it after 9 holes.

*after 9 holes*
Mom: I hope we make it. 

In all honesty, I was thinking the same thing too – after 9 holes, I ran into the golf shop to buy some more winter clothing. A perk of no longer playing competitive golf was no more enduring playing in horrible weather. There’s a reason it’s called a “rain check!”

Anyways, we did survive, and though not our best year, we at least finished (several teams quit the tournament since the weather was so awful). And we weren’t last place, so there!

So have some hearty split pea and ham soup and stay warm!

1 pound dried split peas
1 ham hock, and chopped ham
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6-8 cups broth/water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh thyme

Soak the peas in water overnight in a large pot. Drain the peas and set aside.

Place ham hock in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour; reserve the broth.

In a large pot, sautee onions with the butter over medium heat for a few minutes, then add the celery, carrots, and garlic, stirring until cooked. Add the ham hock and ham and cook until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add your ham broth, bay leaf and thyme, and cook until the peas are tender, about 1 hour (add water as needed). Serve and enjoy!

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  1. Every muscle in Dad's body had seized up from the cold, Mom was frozen the minute she stepped out of the car, Stephanie was stuck working that day, and Chef Uy and my golf skills were super rusty from med school/college. That was a rough tournament