Split Pea and Hambone Soup


Even though the Santa Ana’s brought the temperature up to almost 90 in the last couple of days, I wanted to make soup. Specifically, Split Pea soup using the beautiful ham bone I saved from our Christmas feast.  So, at 5 a.m., that’s what I did.

Mmmmmm, it smells so good.  My family will think so too, as they each get up – one by one – to get ready for the day.   They’ll follow their noses into the kitchen for coffee or breakfast, their sleepy eyes closing in pleasure as they get a full noseful of delicious.

True Confession:  I probably wouldn’t have made it on THIS particular day, as hot as it is and as busy the schedule, but when it was cloudy and 62 a few days ago, I also promised Mom that I would bring some this weekend when we visited.  She’s been a soup aficionado since before I was a twinkle in my daddy’s eye.  So this better be good.

Funny, I couldn’t find my original recipe.  I think I threw it out a year ago.  And I think I remember why I did – what I was feeling at the time – when I did.  I was riffling through my recipes looking for it and when I found it, I was immediately bombarded with a memory that was painful.  Tossing it out was a spontaneous decision.   A “purge”, even,  and that is ok with me.  Old school Split Pea Soup like this is easy.

Back in the day, a meal like this was considered Pheasant food because it was a hardy stick-to-the-ribs meal using leftovers and a few veggies.   But these days, a big bowl of this kind of soup can cost you a small fortune in a restaurant.  (and, between you and me?  Not nearly as delich!  ha!)

Oh, that bone, that bone, that ham bone! With a few big succulent chunks of ham on it, chunks that will fall off the bone while cooking,  it gives the soup its smokey meaty flavor.   Thrown into some stock with split peas, diced carrots, onions and potatoes, and seasonings, it will be cooking up all day while we’re out and become Heaven in a Spoonful.

I’ll serve it tonight with big chunks of crusty French bread and a salad.  Hopefully it will be below 75 degrees by then.

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