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Split Pea and Ham Soup


My mom is a great cook, but she’s too humble to admit it.  Growing up, she cooked tasty, made-with-love meals every night, mostly of the meat and potatoes variety.  However, being young you don’t appreciate decent, home cooked meals until you go away to college and are subjected to the barbaric buffet of mystery meat and wiener winks.  So like everyone else, the salad bar, sugary sweet cereal and soft serve frozen yogurt seemed more appealing than funky named foods.

Back at home, Sunday nights were favorite of mine.  Instead of eating at the kitchen table, we got to eat…in the basement family room!   This once a week ritual revolved around watching Notre Dame football and 60 Minutes and eating together around the coffee table.  I know as children we have selective memories, but for some reason I can only remember eating winter-time meals in the basement.  My mom would go low key on Sunday, making simple fare like sandwiches, soup and crazy ethnic fare, like tacos.  One of my favorites, was Split Pea and Ham Soup.  As for esthetics, this soup ranks pretty low.  But the simple taste of only a few ingredients really warms up your taste buds.

split pea and ham soup 

Split Pea and Ham Soup
1/2 lb. ham
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 lb split peas – rinsed and drained
1 cup or more thinly sliced carrots
2 qts. water
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Melt 1 Tbp.  butter/margarine in a large pot and add ham onion. Sautee on low heat for 5 minutes.  Stir in water, peas, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and boil gently for 3 hours.  Add carrots and cook for one hour longer.

 

Carrots good, wiener winks bad.

Carrots good, wiener winks bad.

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