December 20, 2009

Split Pea Soup

Wal-Mart (one of Havre, Montana's two grocery stores) advertised half-hams for $1.43 per pound.  My gardener asked me to get one so he could smoke it.  He loves ham... me, I'm kind of ehhh, I'd rather have a cigar.

It was a warm day last Saturday (got clear up to 41 degrees).  My gardener brought a pack of little white papers into the kitchen.  Then he cut some ham off the bone and started wrapping it up in the paper.  He licked one end of the paper and struck a match and started smoking this homemade ham cigarette!

I said, "What are you doing, son???"

He said, "I told you I was going to smoke this ham."
The last I saw him he was downtown licking the movie house windows.

Aww, you know I'm kidding.  My gardener got the smoker out and put that ham in there and four and a half hours later we had the most beautiful smoked ham you ever saw!

Plans were to have it for dinner with some stuffing (yes, Stove Top) and braised cabbage.  While I was slicing up the ham, I just couldn't help but take a nibble here and there.  I finished my dinner at the counter eating bits of ham.  I have never enjoyed ham this much.  It was smokey and tender and moist.

What does all of this have to do with Split Pea Soup, you ask?  Well, there was a bone in that ham and that's what I used for the soup.

So, here we go!

Chop some onion, celery and carrots and garlic and saute in butter until softened.
Add dried green split peas, a ham bone, chicken stock and water.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for a few hours.  You can puree this (I used my boat motor) or leave it as chunky as you like.
I made some homemade croutons to go with this soup.  Croutons are so easy to make, I wonder why anybody would ever buy them.  Melt two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan.  Cut up two slices of sourdough bread (or as much as you want) into cubes.  Put the bread into the butter and sprinkle with granulated garlic, black pepper and dried parsley.  Toss and turn until the croutons are crisp and brown.

My gardener loved this soup.  We're going to go to Wal-Mart and get a couple more hams for the freezer!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Merry-and-Happy-Whatever-you-Celebrate-or-Don't and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all.  Thanks for reading my blog this year.  I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to re-visiting all of you and meeting more blogging buddies in 2010!


  1. Too funny! When I smoke my turkey, it's usually from the butt end...

  2. Great post, Karen. I just put my ham bone in the freezer last night. Made a half spiral ham yesterday for company and am looking forward to some pea soup after the New Year. Your homemade croutons must have really hit the spot, too.

  3. I have a ham bone left from Thanksgiving in the freezer waiting for me to make my favorite bean soup. I use Navy beans or Northern beans and put pretty much the same stuff you do in the lentil. Sure makes it tastey doesn't it?

  4. The soup looks and sounds delicious! I can imagine the smoky depth the ham bone gives. Yum!

  5. well of course smoked ham rocks!

    And great use of the bone

  6. Y'all are too funny! Thanks for the chuckle...LOL

    Hubby went to Walmart to buy our ham yesterday and wanted to know if he should buy a bone-in ham or one without. Of course the bone-in I said... that way we can make split pea soup!

  7. Awesome! I was smiling through the initial part of the post... I thought is the neighbor really smoking a ham cigarette....Then I broke out laughing. I got it-duh!
    Your split pea soup looks delicious. I think you just inspired me. I have a ham bone up in the freezer that needs to be put to use for something good like split pea soup. Thanks!

  8. That is funny!I love split pea soup.....that looks comforting and delicious.

  9. That's funny! Such a wonderful soup, perfect with the ham bone!

  10. This is a perfect winter soup...for those that get an actual winter :)

  11. "I'd rather have a cigar" you are funny. The ham sounds delicious and I do like it smokey too. Perfect for that soup you made!

  12. You are too funny. I have a boring split pea recipe and have never taken the time to try to find a better one. Thanks for this post, it may just be where my Christmas Ham Bone ends up. Merry Christmas!

  13. I loved this post. It definitely set me off on a laughing spree. Your soup looks so good especially with those homemade croutons! Happy holidays to you as well!

  14. Today is an unusal cold day here in LA and I feel like having a cup of soup just like this one.

  15. Perfect soup for cold weather! Thanks for sharing :)

  16. Hahaha! Funny post! Soup does warm the soul during the cold months! Happy Holidays!

  17. You are TOO funny Karen!!

    I'll bet that ham was delicious, and I know your pea soup was ... with that flavorful ham bone, how could it be anything but fabulous?!
    I'm so hungry for it right now. Thank you for sharing your recipe (and the giggles.)

    Happy, happy holidays! xo ~m.

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  19. Merry Christmas
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  20. One of my most favorite soups.. Happy Holidays to you and your family Karen!

  21. mmmmmm, smoked ham sounds so awesome right now!! And your soup is literally making me drool...I haven't had split pea in forever, I'm due! :) Happy Holidays, Karen!

  22. are funny.
    I have a ham w/bone in my freezer, left over from my Christmas Eve Brunch. And I love soup, so this sounds like just the thing!!

  23. This soup looks delicious! Now Im going to smoke a ham cigar!

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