Here’s to Monday!

And here’s to soup!

Here’s to eating a big bowl of goodness when you’re chilly and pooped!

My dear dear friend Robert, who is an amazing cook among other things, served me this soup when I arrived to his place in Chicago and it immediately warmed my soul and satisfied my tastebuds as only a good soup can. It was a chilly day and soup hit the spot! He has kindly offered to share the recipe with you my dear ladies!!

Filling, delicious, completely satisfying for lunch or a light dinner or a starter course at a dinner party.

 

YOU WILL NEED:

1 Pound Split Peas*

8 Cups Chicken Stock (Can substitute with Chicken Bullion)

2 Cup (1 pound) pre cooked ham cubed into 1/2 inch pieces 

1 bay leaf

3 Cloves Garlic Chopped

1 Large Sweet Onion Chopped

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper

* NOTE: Split peas come dried in one pound bags in the dried bean section or even in the soup aisles of all grocery stores. Traditionally dried split peas have been used and being dried have a more intense flavor. Don’t use frozen or canned peas. If you do you’ll end up with a weird mush that has little flavor. You could use regular peas but cut down the cook time slightly more than half.  It might not have the same intense pea flavor, but may be okay in a rush. 

TO MAKE:

Rinse and sort (take out ones that are discolored) split peas leaving them to drain in collander. In medium stock pot add 3 tbsp. olive oil and brown the ham for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove ham and set aside. Add another tbsp olive oil then add onions and saute’ on medium heat. Saute onions until translucent then add garlic for 2 minutes stirring occassionally. Do not brown garlic. 

Add all chicken stock, drained split peas, ham, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil mixture for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour partiallly covered. After 1 hour peas should be soft. Remove 2 cups of mixture (not with the bay leaf) and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Put cooled soup in blender and puree. Add puree back into soup, stir, and simmer for a few minutes. Soup is then thickened slightly and ready to enjoy.  

SERVES 4 (big bowls)