The day after Easter I always find myself with a huge pot of leftover ham stock. In my family we traditionally eat boiled ham and eggs for the holiday. It's a very simple meal that I look forward to every year. I love hard-boiled eggs, so Easter has always been a favorite time of year, because I get to eat all the foods I love, including chocolate. But what to do with all the leftover ham stock? My mom typically makes ham and bean soup, but in the past few years I've started my own tradition of making ham and split pea soup.
Since we're already enjoying spring with the suddenly warm weather, it might seem out of place to be making soup. But actually this in-between brisk weather has me craving a soup like this. Fresh peas will be in season soon, but until then split peas are a wonderful substitute. The ham stock is immensely flavorful and works well in this soup. You could also use chicken or vegetable stock. If you have leftover ham, cube it and add it to the soup near the end of cooking time. Enjoy this Easter leftover soup!
Split Pea Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 pound split peas, picked through and rinsed
10 cups ham stock
1 bay leaf
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Warm oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cook until almost browned, about 15 minutes. Add split peas, stock, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until split peas are tender, about 35 minutes. Check seasoning. Remove bay leaf and serve. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.