Split Pea and Ham Soup

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split_pea_soup_with_ham.jpgI've never tried split pea soup before on the principle of its color, but it is actually quite delicious. The peas have a sweet flavor and the ham gives the soup a nice heartiness.

1 Tb. butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
6-7 c. chicken broth
~1/4 lb. thick sliced ham
1 lb. green split peas (~2 c.), picked through and rinsed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2-3 celery ribs, cut into pieces
Salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add broth, ham, peas, and herbs. Increase heat, bring the soup to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer until peas are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Stir in carrots and celery and continue to cook until peas have almost completely broken down, about 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From : Cooks Illustrated Jan/Feb 2011

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