Ham and Pea soup is a rich creamy soup recipe, and it is the perfect meal to prepare using leftover ham.
If you have ever roasted a ham, you know that you end up with a lot of leftover ham. My Dad, Jack, used to make his Ham and Pea Soup with the ham that was leftover after a holiday meal. Ham and Pea Soup has a thick creamy texture and it tastes just like ham and peas. This soup will surprise you, it tastes far better than you would expect.
This is one of those recipes that isn’t easy to style. A brownish green soup isn’t the most appetizing thing. I came up with the idea of adding crispy prosciutto as a garnish, and it looked wonderful and tasted even better. The crunchy prosciutto adds a satisfying new texture to this meal.
Charles loves soup. When I told him that I was making Ham and Pea Soup he had one major concern. He doesn’t like split peas – or so he thought. This soup is made with split peas, but Charles loved it. He immediately ate two big servings.
This soup takes about 5 hours to make from start to finish, but the steps are very simple. You quickly boil split peas, and let them cool for an hour. Then you add a ham bone, an onion, 2 cloves, a celery stick, 2 carrots, and a bay leaf and let everything simmer for 4 hours. During this process the leftover meat falls off the ham bone.
The last step is puree the soup. This is where you need to be very careful. Only fill your blender up 1/3 of the way or else you risk getting soup everywhere. Trust me, it makes a huge mess.
Ham and Pea Soup is a recipe that uses just a few very inexpensive ingredients, and it yields a lot of food. It makes at least 12 servings.
I come from a family that is always cooking. My Mom takes the lead when it comes to holiday meals, but my Dad is in charge of turning leftovers into soup. He makes Turkey Soup the day after Thanksgiving, and he would make this Ham and Pea soup after Christmas and Easter.
When my Dad serves the soup he swirls 1/4 cup of milk into each serving to add some creaminess. You could opt to skip this step, doing so would make this recipe dairy free. I added a touch of cream to the soup before serving it instead – this also makes the soup look a bit prettier.
Yields 10-12 servings
5 hr, 15 Cook Time
5 hr, 15 Total Time
- 1 pound of Split Peas
- 1 Large White Onion
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Large Celery Stick
- 1 Carrots
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Leftover Ham Bone with some scraps of meat on it
- Rinse the split peas in water. Examine the peas to makes sure that there are no bad peas. Then pour the peas into a large pot and fill with about 3 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool for 1 hour. Leave the peas in the water.
- After the peas have cooled for an hour, remove the root and skin of the onion, and stab the onion with 2 cloves (pro tip- put them next to each other). Add the onion and the celery, carrots, bay leaf, and ham bone to the water with the peas. You want to ham bone to be submerged in the water, add more water if necessary. Then bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 4 hours. Stir occasionally.
- After simmering the soup for 4 hours, remove the bay leaf, the piece of onion with the cloves, and the ham bone. Remove any meat from the ham bone and add it back to the soup.
- Lastly, you need to puree the soup. Do this is small batches being careful not to overfill your blender. I recommend not filling your blender more than 1/3 at once. You could opt to use an immersion blender instead.
- If you want to serve the soup with crispy prosciutto, place slices of prosciutto on a parchment lined baking sheet and let cook for 12 minutes, or until the prosciutto had hardened. Let it cool and then crumbled it.
- Add a touch of cream or 1/4 cup of milk to each serving of soup as you pour it into bowls. Top with crispy prosciutto.