Have you heard of the nursery rhyme about peas porridge? If not, here it is: peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. This nursery rhyme is a reflection of a time when fireplaces not only heated homes but were used as the main source for cooking. A large pot would be placed over the flames and ingredients from whatever was on hand would go inside. Water was added and the soup was replenished each day with additional ingredients. And, like the nursery rhyme says, this could go on for nine days. We all know soup tastes better the day after. Whenever mom had a roast ham, we knew that split pea soup would be made the next day. Following in family tradition, I used the leftover ham and made this soup. The key here is not to trim too much of the meat away from the bone, leaving just enough to add to the soup. After all, this soup celebrates the split pea and the smoked ham highlights this.
Split pea soup is hearty, budget friendly, and easily fills an empty stomach. Today is World Food Day – a day of action against hunger. One in nine people worldwide live with chronic hunger and one billion tons of food worldwide is wasted each year. I was not aware of this, but farmers are the key to ending hunger. This weekend, purchase food from your local farmers’ market and help celebrate farmers everywhere.
Serves 6 to 8
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups split green peas, rinsed and drained
1 smoked ham bone
6-8 cups chicken stock or water
In a large pot on medium heat, sauté onions and carrots with a splash of olive oil and cook until onions are soft. Add split peas, ham bone and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) for 40 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the soup from burning on the bottom. Remove ham bone and scrape off any meat. This can be added to the soup. Season and stir in fresh tarragon. Serve hot.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use chopped bacon as a substitute for the ham bone. Start with 6 cups of stock and add more if needed. After the 40 minutes, taste the soup. If the split peas are not soft, cook for another 10 minutes, covered. Enjoy!
- 1 onion, chopped
- olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1½ cups split green peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 smoked ham bone
- 6-8 cups chicken stock or water
- In a large pot on medium heat, sauté onions and carrots with a splash of olive oil and cook until onions are soft.
- Add split peas, ham bone and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) for 40 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the soup from burning on the bottom.
- Remove ham bone and scrape off any meat. This can be added to the soup. Season and stir in fresh tarragon. Serve hot.