(NaNoWriMo Day 26 Word Count: 48,072.)
We loved this soup. Well, the rest of the family liked it and ate it, but I loved it. I ate it for lunch for three days, and I was sad when it was gone. But then, I have a pretty emotional relationship with soup.
The way I made this, it was not vegetarian, but it can easily be made so by not adding the ham shank. But ham shank is really very yummy, so unless you’re really serious about your vegetarianism (or about keeping kosher or halal), I recommend the ham shank. Plus, it’s fun to say “ham shank.”
Prep time: 50 minutes in pressure-cooker; 1 hour 45 minutes in soup pot (I made ours in a soup pot)
Makes 4 servings (but I doubled the recipe when I made it because we like leftovers)
1 cup green split peas
1 T butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 to 2 t sea salt
1 rib celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 small red potatoes, cubed
1 t ground cumin
Freshly ground pepper
4 c water or vegetable stock (I used chicken broth)
1 large bay leaf
1 small ham bone (optional; I used a Niman Ranch ham shank. This was another reason I doubled the recipe…there was more meat on the ham shank than I would have expected from just a ham bone. Also, Niman Ranch is yummy but it’s spendy, so I wanted to stretch it a bit)
2 t apple cider vinegar (I used rice vinegar; it’s what I had on hand)
1/2 c fresh or frozen peas
1 T snipped fresh dill or 1 t dried (now that I think of it, I think I forgot this)
Soak split peas 4 to 6 hours in 4 cups of water. This will help digestibility, quicken cooking time, and improve the texture of the soup. Discard soaking water.
Heat butter in a pressure cooker or 4-quart pot. Add onion and salt and saute until onion begins to soften. Add celery, carrot, potatoes, cumin, and pepper to taste; saute 3 to 4 minutes more. Add split peas, water, and bay leaf. Add ham bone, if using, and vinegar.
If pressure-cooking: Bring up to pressure on high heat, then lower heat and cook 40 minutes.
If using a soup pot: Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 60 to 90 minutes.
Once split peas have softened and the soup has become creamy, remove the ham bone. Cut off any meat, discard skin and bone, dice meat into small pieces, and add to soup with peas and dill. Check seasonings; add more salt and pepper if needed (ours needed more salt). Continue cooking a few minutes more until peas are tender.