Posted in Soups

Split Pea Soup with Ham

IMG_3893.JPGRemember my experience with the Chicken Noodle Soup?

After that, I’ve decided to throw in the towel. They’ve worn me down. No more attempts to sell them on all of the awesomeness that is soup.

For this winter only. They may have won this battle … but I’m in it for the war!

Going too far? It is just soup after all.

Does that mean “No soup for you!”? (If you don’t get this, then ask an older, wiser someone.)

Oh, no no no no no no. Nope. And no.

Mainly because I still hadn’t made my most favorite soup of all time … the Split Pea with Ham.

When I was a kid, the Campbell’s split pea was one of my lunch staples in the winter. It disgusted me that it came out of the can in one solid lump, and it was always amazed at how after a few stirs and a couple of minutes in the microwave it would get creamy. But it was oh so tasty. In my memory anyway.

Now? Blech. I can’t remember the last time that I had that, but just writing that paragraph … well … Oooooo.

Frankly, with a Split Pea Soup this easy and tasty – who needs it?

Split Pea Soup with Ham
  • 1 pound split peas
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ham hock (nitrate/nitrite-free) or half a boneless ham or a ham steak
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  1. Rinse peas and discard any hard pieces.
  2. In large stock pot, combine peas, onion, garlic, and ham. If you're using actual ham and not the hock, cut it into large chunks.
  3. Add water. Use less water if you like your pea soup a bit thicker.
  4. Add thyme, bay leaf and salt.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring to boil over medium heat.
  7. Cover and cook about an hour. Peas will be soft but still have some shape.
  8. Remove ham
  9. Add carrots and celery.
  10. Uncover and cook another 45 minutes to an hour, until soup is desired consistency.
This soup is very forgiving (It just prefers that you actually ask for forgiveness), so you can "overcook" it if it's too runny. Just keep in mind that the carrots and celery will soften quite a bit also.

Just be sure to find a ham hock or a ham that is nitrate/nitrite free. That is one of the non-negotiables in our house. And it would ruin an otherwise perfectly good soup. Not that my kids would know.

The Bread Guy usually tolerates a small bowl of this soup, claiming to love it yet laboring just enough that it’s pretty obvious that love it just too strong an adjective. He didn’t even eat it this time. Big Britches has declared, in no uncertain terms, that he does not do soup. And Mr. Selective can’t get past the way it looks.

And I didn’t even try. Not a bowl. A spoon. Or any intimation that they should sample even the tiniest taste.

But watch out boys … next winter … game on!

Posted in Soups

Baked Potato Leek Soup

baked potato soup
Cleaning Day.

Just the thought inspires such wonderful feelings, as it always provides such harmony in our house.

Harmony, that is, if you find peace in the groaning, whining and general disdain for me as a the evil real-mother imposing such horrors upon their existence.  Because it is, of course, my fault that their living space is such a mess.

This particular day was made even better because I was fortunate to be the only adult present for the day’s adventures.  The Man was out volunteering his time and muscles to help with maintenance on the baseball fields.  You know, the ones that our children play on.  And so to show their appreciation, they were spectacular helpers and did everything without my even having to ask.

Or not.

Just to give you an idea as to how the day went, I spent the entire day in my pajamas.

Yes.  Yes, I did.

And I made Baked Potato Soup for dinner.

Baked Potato Leek Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 6 medium baking potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp bacon grease (or butter)
  • 3-4 leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ c. butter (or bacon grease)
  • ½ c. spelt flour (I used sprouted)
  • 1 c. bone broth (or chicken), room temperature
  • 5 c. or more, whole, grass-fed milk, room temperature
  • 2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Wash potatoes and put in oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until done but not overdone.
  3. While potatoes are baking, wash and slice leeks.
  4. Melt butter or bacon grease on LOW heat in medium skillet. Add leeks and stir to coat.
  5. Sweat the leeks to pull out all of the leek-y goodness. Make sure that they are soft and translucent but that they don't get too brown. (If you don't know what it means to sweat veggies, this is a good tutorial.)
  6. While the leeks and the potatoes are cooling, get out your big soup pot and melt the butter over medium heat.
  7. Add flour and whisk for 2-3 minutes. (This is a roux.)
  8. Slowly add chicken broth, whisking as you go.
  9. Slowly add milk, whisking as you go.
  10. Reduce heat to low.
  11. Add leeks. (In our house, we don't like to see green things. So, I throw the leeks into a food processor and grind them up. Either way works.)
  12. Chop potatoes and add. Throw the skins in there too!
  13. Let simmer for about an hour, stirring frequently.
  14. Add cheese and sour cream. Stir until well combined.
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  16. If soup is too thick, add more milk.
  17. Ladle into bowls and devour.
I sometimes add some ham to this, if I feel like it. If you like ham in your potato soup, grab a ham steak (nitrate-free, of course), dice it and give it a little saute before you add it to the soup. It adds a nicer flavor.

The Bread Guy eats this, but the other two are not potato eaters or soup eaters, which is kind of a lose-lose with this one.  So they had ham and applesauce.  That’s great for me because that means that there will be leftovers.  Yay!

The day ended with clean rooms, a still-disgusting bathroom, a few rousing games of Clue (the Classic Edition, of course) in front of a nice fire (while still in my pajamas).

And harmony in our house.