One of the things I enjoy most about this blog is trying new food, and that’s exactly what I’m doing today with this Easy Split Pea Soup with Ham recipe. My dad loved split pea soup and my father-in-law does too but I have never tried it let alone made it. Until now, that is. Why the sudden interest?, you might ask. Because today is the start of National Split Pea Soup Week. Yes, week. Apparently, a day isn’t enough to appreciate this dish. Between that and my dads’ endorsements, I figured it was finally time to find out if I also like peas made into soup. Let’s find out!
Smoky, hearty, and full of protein, this Easy Split Pea Soup with Ham is a meal worth savoring!
I had a few basics like butter, olive oil, and spices on hand as well as some chicken broth base. That left me to buy the fresh produce and split peas, which was easy to do at my usual grocery store.
The only item I had questions about was the ham hocks. The recipe doesn’t say whether they should be fresh or smoked, and I wasn’t sure which to use. It does mention using a meaty ham bone as an alternative, and that made me think fresh was the way to go. However, it also describes the soup as “smoky” and says not to use too much salt because the ham hocks are salty, which says smoked to me.
Well, the store made the decision for me because they only had smoked ham hocks in stock. I have to tell you I was very glad about this as soon as I took my first bite. Sure fresh would have had more meat, but that smoked flavor is so good!
I truly enjoy making well-written recipes, and I’m happy to say this is one of them. The instructions were clear and easy to follow once I had the ham hock issue sorted.
I spent a few minutes prepping the ingredients before I began cooking. This recipe moves fast and doesn’t allow my usual prep-while-cooking method. Eight minutes and a little chopping, and I was ready to cook.
My 5.5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven came in handy (again!). I love that pot! I sautéed the vegetables and garlic for a few minutes, then added everything else for a long simmer.
A quick check after 55 minutes told me the soup was ready because the peas had almost disintegrated, creating a creamy texture. At this point, I used a pair of tongs to remove the ham hocks and stripped off the meat.
I was nervous after I did the first hock because it had almost no meat. Panic time! But the second one had a surprising amount of meat on it, so everything worked out. I returned the chopped meat to the pot, heated it for another minute, and I was done.
The total time listed on this recipe was 1 hour 30 minutes, but I made mine in a little less time. That was thanks to the prep work going a little faster and the advice to check for doneness at 55 minutes. Mine was done at that point, so I’m very glad that advice was included! Here’s how my time was spent:
- 8 minutes to prep
- 1 hour 6 minutes to cook
- 6 minutes to strip the pan bones
- 1 minute to ladle and garnish
- 1 hour 21 minutes total