Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Left-over Ham recipes

I love how the older you get the more you appreciate your Mom and everything she taught you.
For years you take it for granted and then one day you realize how valuable it really is.

So, I'd like to dedicate today's recipe, Split Pea Soup, to my Mom ~ Astrid Piereder. Thanks Mom for taking such good care of us when we were growing up. For passing along treasured lessons and skills that I use today to raise my own family.

Split Pea Soup

1 pound dried split green peas (approx. 2 ½ cups)
16 cups cold water
1 left-over Ham Bone
4 strips Bacon, chopped finely (use frozen bacon for a super fine chop)
1 onion, large, chopped (approx. 1 ½ Cups)
2-3 ribs Celery, chopped (Approx. 1 cup)
1 cup Carrots, grated or chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 large potatoes (1 cup) cooked and chopped finely
1/4 cup Parsley; fresh, chopped
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp. Savory -- dried
¼ cup white vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Clean & rinse peas under cold water (check for pebbles, etc…). Set aside.

Place bacon in bottom of large stock pot that has been heated. Sauté until bacon becomes soft. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion and celery. Saute for a few minutes until soft and add garlic. Saute for a few more minutes.

Add ham bone, peas, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally so peas don’t stick to the bottom and strain off any foam that accumulates.

In the meantime, place 2 large potatoes (or 4 small) and 6 large carrots into a pot of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are fork tender. Let cool. Remove skins of potatoes and chop all finely. Set aside.

When peas have become soft and have somewhat dissolved and the meat is falling off the ham bone you’ll know the soup is almost done. Remove the ham bone and let cool. Remove any meat, chop and return to soup. Add the potatoes, carrots, savory, chopped parsley, salt & pepper. This soup needs quite a bit of salt, but do it slowly so you don’t over salt.

· Freeze the ham bone if you don’t have time to make the soup just then.
· Soup freezes very well.
· Soup thickens in the fridge or freezer and even on the stove when reheating, so be sure to add water to re-hydrate to the desired consistency.
· For a nice presentation, ladle hot soup in bowls, place a heaping Tbsp of ham in center and sprinkle with chopped parsley and/or a turn or two of the pepper grinder.
· Invest in a large heavy bottomed stock pot to avoid scorching. If you do burn, don’t stir, carefully pour most of the soup into another pot without disturbing the burned parts.
· Use Sea salt or Kosher salt as it has less sodium and a lighter salt flavor.
· For a really BIG pot of soup, double the recipe, but use only one ham bone (this is what I do).

Okay, one more ladies. I usually have enough meat left over from an Easter Ham to make Split pea soup AND this yummy pasta. Enjoy!

Creamy Ham & Peas Linguini
Approx. 8 oz. Left-over ham
(for slices of ham, cut into strips. For big pieces of ham, cut or tear into small pieces)
12 oz. Linguine
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
8 oz. Mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, chopped (or 1 small onion chopped)
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 cup chicken stock or white wine
1 1/2 cup cream (you can use milk or half & half)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen peas
Pepper & kosher salt
1 tsp. paprika
Fresh basil (or parsley)

Cook Linguine according to package directions. Be sure to add enough salt to cooking water so it tastes salty. This is an important step, otherwise the whole dish will taste bland.

(2.) Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in large skillet. Add shallots and garlic and sauté on medium heat until soft. Add butter & mushrooms and sauté until they soft and (3.) getting brown. Add flour and stir until combined and the flour has cooked through. (4.) Add chicken stock (or wine), stir until combined. (5.) Slowly add the cream and let simmer on low.

(6.) Add ham, peas, paprika and salt & pepper to taste. Toss with cooked linguine. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss with parmesan cheese & chopped fresh basil. Serve with a warm crusty bread and a simple salad.
Serves 4-6
· Pasta can really absorb alot of moisture from the sauce, so be sure your sauce isn't too thick before you toss it or it won't be creamy. You can thin the sauce by adding a little broth or cream.


kwgirl said...

I was literally drooling when I saw the soup...one of my absolute FAVES!
You made it look SO easy! Maybe I should try to make this...how hard could it be?
Yup~your mom is a fab cook:)

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