In the heart of everyone is a little country and a desire for simpler things. I don’t care where you are from or where you are now, this is true in all human beings. A soup like this is meant to be created and not ordered. This is as old school and traditional country as it gets. I spiced this up with fresh grated horseradish root and Verde sauce (courtesy of my mother and inspired by the taco Christmas eve shared with employees at dairy). The spice cuts through the sweetness and richness of the ham and peas. I also brighten it with Meyer lemon and tarragon from our garden. Fresh garlic, onion, bay leaf and a little nutmeg add warmth. I did not have any carrot at the time, but if you have some add a couple large carrots chopped, as this is a great addition! I love this as a meal served with crusty bread and fresh butter. Make an extra batch to share!
Yield: Approx 6 large servings Time: Preparation; 30 min. Cooking: 4 hours
- 2 1/2 C Split Peas Dried
- 2 1/4 Quarts Water
- 1 1/2 Lbs Cubed Ham plus Ham Bone
- 1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon
- 2 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 2 Stalks Celery
- 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Grated Horseradish Root
- 1/2 C Verde Sauce
- 1 Tsp Nutmeg
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp Dried Tarragon or 2 Sprigs Fresh Tarragon
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Meyer Lemon juice
Melt butter in dutch oven or large stock pot. Add chopped onion, garlic and celery. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and saute until transparent and softened. Grate fresh horseradish into vegetables. Add cubed ham and ham bone. Saute an additional 5 minutes to render flavor. Add Split peas, and cover with water. Add chicken bouillon and stir. Bring to boil an then turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for one hour.
Add bay leaf and tarragon, (I use something called a soup sock for herbs to be removed) and simmer an additional 3 hours, or until peas are cooked through and soup has thickened. Stir in Verde sauce and lemon. Garnish with additional fresh grated horseradish and serve with crusty bread and fresh butter! Enjoy this warm country meal and share with friends! May freeze for up to 4 months.
Dad, Uncle Jack, Aunt Angie and the kids at dairy Christmas Eve. Enjoying Oysters and fresh tacos with homemade Verde and guacamole prepared by the workers to share in celebration. A feast at the shop!