Monday, May 26, 2008

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Sometimes all you need is a bit of soup on a blustery day. This one freezes well and is dead cheap to make, so it's nice to have around when you have a busy day or need something quick to re-heat for lunch. In a pinch you could substitute cooked bacon or crumbled and cooked sausage for the ham.  You don't really have to make the croutons, but they make a nice touch if you are eating it immediately and are a great way to use up leftover stale-ish bread.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 tsp ground thyme
1 (900 ml) tetra carton of ready made chicken broth
1 (eight oz) can of chicken broth
1 bag (1 lb) green split peas
1 cup ham, cubed
fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbsp butter
4 slices of whole wheat bread, crusts removed, cubed
salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and then saute the carrots, onions, celery, and ground thyme until softened. Stir in split peas, tetra pack of broth, can of broth, a can of water, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the peas are tender.

Puree 1/2 of the soup in a blender, then pour back into the pot. Add ham and fresh thyme, stripping the leaves off and putting them in the soup (throw away the twigs). Salt and pepper to taste. Stir and heat through.

Melt the butter in a fry pan and add cubed bread; toss and toast over medium heat until crispy. Serve with soup.

Makes 6 servings

This recipe was adapted from Every Day Food April 2007.
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