What should we have for dinner tonight? I thought some sort of soup made with leftover ham would fit the bill. I narrowed the list down to two options: Split Pea Soup with Ham; or Potato Soup with Ham.
I asked the Master Taste Tester, and, without hesitation, he picked the Split Pea Soup with Ham. Split Pea Soup is actually my favorite, so here we go!
The ingredients included broth made with the ham bone, green split peas, ham, onion, celery, carrot, dried thyme, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Before going any farther, I thought I’d offer some advice on buying a ham – read the nutrition facts. Before this year, I had consistently bought a Honey Baked ham. This year, Susan commented on how salty last year’s ham was, to the point that she didn’t want one. I did some investigation, and was horrified to discover per the website information, that the sodium content of a Honey Baked ham was 1,490 mg per 3-ounce serving. This represents 62% of the daily value. Based on this information, I actually started looking at the nutrition facts of hams. The sodium content of the one that I bought for Christmas was 480 mg per 3-ounce serving, and its taste was excellent!
Back to the soup. I started by cooking the ham bone at high pressure in 8 cups of water in my pressure cooker for about 2 hours. After the pressure had subsided, I removed the bone and poured the liquid into my fat separator. Because I needed 8 cups of liquid, I added additional water to reach that level.
Once full pressure was reached, I reduced the heat to medium low to maintain the pressure, and cooked the soup for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, I removed the pan from the heat and allowed it to depressurize. When I removed the top of the pressure cooker, the resultant soup didn’t look very good because solids were at the bottom and the liquids, at the top.
1 pound (16 ounces) green split peas, picked over and rinsed well
1 pound (16 ounces) ham, chopped (2½ cups)
1 large onion chopped (2 cups)
2 to 3 ribs of celery chopped (¾ cup)
2 carrots peeled and chopped (¾ cup)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups water*
Add all ingredients to pressure cooker; stir well.
Lock the lid of the pressure cooker in place. Bring to the highest pressure over high heat. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain the high pressure, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the lid; stir well, taking care the blend in the peas and other ingredients that have sunk to the bottom of the pan. Correct the seasonings. Yield: 6 servings.
*If you have a ham bone, cook it in pressure cooker on high pressure for 2 hours. Use fat separator to remove any fat. Use liquid in place of water. Alternatively, use chicken broth in place of water.