Split Pea Soup!! Comfort Food Strikes Again!!

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So it has been up and down temperature wise here in Ottawa and the last few days have been down in the last few days…in the low 20s Celsius.  Brrr.  And the windchill…double Brrr.   So out comes the soup pot once again to fill our bellies with warmth and nourishment. This is a recipe my mom made for as long as I can remember.  And since I have been thinking about my mom a lot lately, it seemed appropriate to make a soup she always made for me.  Usually it was made with the leftovers of a ham boiled dinner which was a frequent Sunday night dinner.  The soup would be made at the beginning of the week to stretch out one meal into several more.

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My Mom and I Fishing ~1970

Peg’s Split Pea Soup

1-450g bag of dried yellow or green split peas

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2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped small

3 carrots chopped small

4 sticks of celery chopped small

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3 bay leaves

1 small ~450g smoked ham or the left over ham from a boiled dinner

8 cups of ham or chicken stock

2 tsps black pepper

salt to taste (some hams are saltier than others, so taste the soup before serving and adjust the salt)

Any left over cooked root vegetables, I.e. Parsnips, turnips, squash etc.  (Optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven heat oil til hot and cook onions, carrots and celery over medium high heat til onions are translucent.

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Add ham and sauté 5 minutes more.  Add stock, pepper, bay leaves and bag of split peas.  Bring to a simmer, place lid on pot and place in oven for 1 hour.  Remove pot from oven, remove lid and stir soup well.  If too liquid, put back in oven with lid off for an additional 1/2 hour.  If thick enough put back in oven with lid on for additional 1/2 hour.  Serve with warm bread or crackers and cheese for a comfort filled nourishing supper.  Hope you enjoy my mom’s soup recipe.  Cheers, Michele

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