Leftover Ham Bone & Split Pea Soup
Updated: Jan 31
“DON’T THROW OUT THE HAM BONE”! Words I’ve heard over and over growing up, mostly from mom. And she was right! The “leftover bone” contributes delicious rich flavor and is the main star of this soup.
My mom has instilled in me not to waste food, and to use as much of the “animal” or “parts” as possible. It is truly amazing what “we” end up throwing in the trash, or in our case in the food recycle bin.
Most of this wasted food, especially chicken bones, beef bones, and ham bones, contribute amazing flavours and richness to your soups, stocks and broths. Instead of throwing them out, put them in a freezer bag or vacuum sealed bag and freeze. You can pull them out whenever you need them.
Ham with a sweet glaze is a traditional dish in our family, mostly around the Christmas holidays. We tend to cook a turkey one year, and alternate with a ham the next year.
I was going to attempt to “blog” the smoked ham (with my sweet orange marmalade glaze) I cooked last month, but I just didn’t have the time photograph with so much going on that day. I did manage to take a couple of quick photos (see below). Writing this post, I’m feeling the urge to cook another ham in the next coupe of weeks, and blog this smoky sweet dish. HAPPY FAMILY! Stay tuned my social media friends.
There is nothing like buying fresh from your local butcher. The butcher knows the history/details of the meat (e.g. where the meat is from, how it’s been cured). For this recipe I purchased a smoked ham with bone-in and skin on, and no nitrates or preservatives - just pure goodness. Note, keeping the bone in helps retain moisture in the ham while cooking.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Marinate Time: n/a
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 mins
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion - medium dice
2 carrots - peeled and medium dice
2 large potatoes (e.g. russet, Yukon gold) - peeled and medium dice
3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves - finely chopped
1 leftover ham bone - fat trimmed and discarded
2 quarts water
2 cups split peas
2 bay leaves
1 ½ cups leftover ham - medium dice
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Instructions: Kitchen Tools:
1. heat large pot or Dutch oven over medium (heat large pot or 6 to 8-quart Dutch oven)
2. add oil and onions – sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent (wooden stir spoon)
3. add carrots, potatoes, garlic and thyme – sauté for 5 minutes
4. place ham bone in Dutch oven
5. add water – turn up heat and bring to a boil
6. rinse split peas – add to Dutch oven
7. reduce heat to low – loosely cover and simmer for 1 hr
8. skim off any impurities once simmering
9. add bay leaves, salt and pepper – stir
10. after 1 hr, remove ham bone - remove any meat and add back (tongs)
11. add chopped ham – cook for 30 minutes or until desired consistence
12. add salt and pepper to taste
13. remove bay leaves
14. ladle into serving bowls – drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil (ladle, serving bowls)
- the ham bone and ham will naturally add salt to the stew – use sparingly and add as required