Around here, the most prized soup bones are ham bones. Oh, I love my chicken noodle soup, don’t get me wrong. And in the past two weeks, I’ve mega-batched two turkey carcasses into 21 jars of Turkey Garbanzo Soup and turned a large bag of beef bones into 21 jars of Beef Vegetable Soup. But still, Split Pea Soup is one of my all-time favorites.
Why yes, I AM cleaning out my deep freezers before it’s time to start refilling them with 2013 produce! And soup making and canning had somehow gotten put to the back burner, which is crazy, because we were flat out of prepared soup. The real push right now came from the fact that we’ve just purchased an upright freezer (used) which will be delivered later this week, so I’m on an organizational rampage of the frozen sort.
Thankfully in this case I’d boiled down the bones the last few times I’d baked a ham (from last year’s piggies—yummy yummy!) and then tossed the broth and meat back in the freezer. I triple-batched yesterday, which made 14 jars with enough leftovers for supper.
I’ll spare you the triple recipe, though, and just give you directions for one ham bone. (You’re welcome.)
In large pot, place:
1 meaty ham bone
About 1 gallon of water (to cover)
Bring to a boil and simmer until the broth is rich and the remaining meat is falling off of it (several hours or all day). Discard bone and fat. (If you chill the concoction first, the fat comes to the top and solidifies, making it very easy to remove.)
Return broth and meat to your soup pot and add:
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 quart (4 cups) canned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2.5 cups yellow split peas
1 cups green split peas
Salt & Pepper to taste (most hams are salty enough you won’t need to add any)
Simmer for an hour or more, until the vegetables and peas are soft and the flavors well blended. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Lately I’ve been able to get unsplit yellow peas from a local organic grower, so I’ve used them in place of both colors of split peas in my recipe.
This recipe comes, mostly intact, from my mother-in-law, who isn’t one for pureed soup. Neither are my husband and I, it turns out. However, if you want to puree yours, go for it! Promise I won’t turn you in to the Soup Police if you’ll return the favor.
I thought I was done canning soup with this round, but I discovered a two-gallon bucket of frozen chicken broth in the bottom of one of my freezers. Apparently that should get thawed and put in jars, too. The bucket certainly won’t fit in the upright freezer!
Good thing (?) the weather has been rainy, cool, and windy. It’s made sitting at my kitchen peninsula watching the pressure gauge for so many hours bearable.
What projects have you been doing that you’d put off for a long time?
UPDATE: This is a soup Sadie from Raindrops on Radishes would come to enjoy in her Trim Healthy Mama story! The soup is a crossover which means it gets its fats from the ham and its carbs from split peas. A crossover here and there is totally fine. If you’re in major weight-loss mode (like Sadie in the mentioned romance novel), you’ll probably want to limit crossovers, but I’m closing in on goal weight and consider a crossover or two a week to be completely fine.
Please Note: I am not an authorized Trim Healthy Mama coach or blogger, although I play one in fiction…