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- 2 1/2 lbs ham (smoked, bone-in picnic ham)
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lb split peas, rinsed and picked through
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped medium
- 2 medium carrots, chopped medium
- 2 medium celery, chopped medium
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 pinch sugar
- 3 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
- black pepper (freshly ground)
- red onion, minced
- balsamic vinegar
- Place ham, bay leaves, and 3 quarts water in large stockpot or Dutch oven.
- Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is tender and pulls away from bone, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove ham meat and bone from pot and set aside.
- Add split peas and thyme to stock.
- Bring back to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered until peas are tender but not dissolved, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, when ham is cool enough to handle, shred meat into bite-sized peas and set aside. Discard rind and bone.
- While peas are simmering, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute, stirring frequently, until most of liquid evaporates and vegetables begin to brown (5 to 6 minutes).
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add butter, garlic, and sugar.
- Cook vegetables, stirring frequently, until deeply browned, 30 to 35 minutes and set aside.
- Add sauteed vegetables, potatoes, and shredded ham to pot with split peas.
- Simmer until potatoes and peas dissolve and thicken soup to consistency of light cream, about 20 minutes more.
- Season with pepper to taste.
- Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with red onion, if using, and serve, passing balsamic vinegar separately.
Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/americas-test-kitchen-chunky-ham-and-split-p…