Like many families, we enjoy spiral ham for Christmas Day dinner. My mom always taught me to save the ham bone for soup, and like a good daughter, I did, putting the ham bone in the freezer…but then I always forgot all about it until I had to clean the freezer out in the spring! Two years ago, I started to get serious about using the ham bone and made my first batch of split pea soup, which quickly became a family favorite! This recipe for hearty ham split pea soup uses both the ham bone and a little leftover ham, as well as lots of fresh veggies and dried split peas to create a deliciously fulfilling soup. You can make this soup in a stockpot or in the slow cooker, but if you make it in the slow cooker, make sure you stir it occasionally so it does not get sticky.
Hearty Ham Split Pea Soup
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
- 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 c. Red Pepper, chopped
- 8 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Ham Base
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Leaves Fresh Sage
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Ham Bone
- 1/2 c. Chopped Ham
- 1 Package Dried Split Peas (2 cups)
- 2 Potatoes, Peeled and cut into small cubes
Hearty Ham Split Pea Soup: Stovetop Version
Place the olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper and saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is soft. While the onion is cooking, rinse the dried split peas and remove any discolored beans.
When the onion is soft, add the vegetable stock to the stockpot, then carefully place the ham bone into the broth. Add the split peas and chopped ham, and heat to boiling. When the mixture boils, lower the heat to medium and simmer on medium-high for about 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cut potatoes and continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes. Before serving, remove the ham bone, thyme stalks and bay leaf. If there is still meat on the ham bone, cut off and add to the soup.
Hearty Ham Split Pea Soup: Slow Cooker Version
Saute the vegetables in olive oil in a frypan. Place a slow cooker liner in the slow cooker, then add the sauteed vegetables. Rinse the dry peas. Add the vegetable stock, Better Than Bouillon, fresh herbs, ham bone, ham pieces, and dry peas, into the slow cooker. Cook on high for three hours, then add the potatoes and simmer for 2 more hours, until the potatoes are soft. The meat should naturally fall off the bone while cooking, but if not, cut away the meat and stir into the soup.