Split Pea Soup w Ham, Potato & Smoked Gouda
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over three years now and I’ve posted over 1,000 recipes and I’ve never posted a single recipe for split pea soup! That’s just crazy. I’m a split pea soup lover and I have been from the time I was little. I remember eating cans of split pea soup as a child and feeling like I was in heaven. Oh what my naive younger self did not know! Homemade split pea soup is so many levels above the canned stuff. (I have the strong urge right now to use a quite different word than “stuff”.)
I don’t know what’s come over me lately … I have the urge to use bawdy language and I never do that. Was it that burglary at my friend’s store that disrupted my sense of calm? Is it the increased number of crimes in our little sleepy (growing) town? Or stress over my teenagers? (I still call my boy a teenager even though he’s already 20. How did I get to be a mom of a 20-year-old so quickly? Where did the time go? It wasn’t so long ago he was a sweet little 4-year-old who loved to ride his bike, help mom chop melon in the kitchen and watch the big trucks drive by. Oh how things change.)
But anyway, let’s get back to the soup! I knew it was going to be chilly this week and I wanted to cook up some good soup to keep me warm. I ran across some ham hocks in my freezer and some ham too and decided it was time to put them to good use. I threw some smoked gouda cheese in my split pea soup… something unthinkable in previous “lives” (within this lifetime), but somehow it felt right to try a little something different this time, and I like the smoky, creamy undertone it adds. It’s a subtle difference, but along with the tender, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes, makes it feel a little like a cross between baked potato and split pea soup. And the best part is, it’s even better the next day, so it’s perfect for packing for lunches. I’ve had this soup for lunch a couple times this week already and I’m still looking forward to tomorrow.
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 medium onion, peeled & chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 2 large stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 6 cups water or unsalted chicken broth
- 1 ham bone or 2 ham hocks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled & chopped
- 1 cup split peas
- 1 cup chopped lean ham
- 1/2 - 1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
- Red Robin Seasoning (or salt or chicken boullion) & fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Heat the butter in a soup pot or large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and celery and saute until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the carrots and saute a few minutes longer. Stir in the water or broth and add the ham bone or ham hocks, bay leaves, potatoes and split peas.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peas and potatoes are very tender.
- Stir in the ham and cheese and heat for a few more minutes to warm everything and let the flavors meld. Season to taste with Red Robin Seasoning & freshly ground pepper.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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