Topic: Nutrition and food safety
It's March , but the weather still says Winter—and that usually inspires soup.
If you haven't made that pot of split pea soup you saved the leftover ham for, this could be one of your weekends to do so. (Not being food-wasters, I know you put aside some slices of holiday ham into the freezer!)
So here's a recipe for Split Pea Soup, which I've changed a little to incorporate the multi-colored fingerling potatoes I had available. You likely have everything in the house, and that ham is in the freezer! I've also included some food safety points in the instructions.
Split Pea Soup
2 cups diced pre-cooked ham
4-6 fingerling potatoes, diced
4 carrots, cut up
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ small onion, chopped
1 lb.dried split peas
1 tsp dried soup blend herbs (basil, parsley, thyme)
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
8-10 cups of water
Take the diced ham directly from the freezer and “defrost” while cooking over medium heat in the heavy soup pot, in a bit of olive oil. If slices of ham were frozen, then cut first into smaller pieces from the frozen state with a heavy knife. Either way, the point is to bring previously cooked foods to HOT as quickly as possible- technically to 165 degrees F.
Next, you can add the vegetables and additional olive oil, toss and heat through.
Rinse and sort the dried split peas (the point here is to make sure there are no errant stones or physical contamination of the peas).
Add the peas and water and seasonings to the pot.
Bring to boil, then back the heat down to simmer and cover. Simmer for about an hour, stirring periodically to prevent vegetables and ham from sticking to the bottom. After an hour remove the cover and simmer additional hour, until the peas are very soft . Use a heat stable spoon and break-up the softened peas against the side of the pot, while stirring. Alternatively you can run the immersion blender for a couple of pulses. If you desire completely pureed soup, then continue with the immersion blender. Add more water if too thick for your tastes. Adjust seasonings as desired.