Ham and Split Pea soup is a recipe I make every year, after I have served a picnic shoulder ham roast. I prepare a ham roast once a year on average (usually for Easter), and then we proceed to eat ham in various forms for another 3 days and nights. The kids are rather thirsty during these "hamathons", and certainly all that salt is not great for little people. I think of ham as a special treat. Picnic shoulder feeds many and is easy on a tight budget, and bone-in is essential if planning on making a soup.
Ham and Split Pea Soup
- The bone of 1 picnic shoulder ham*
- 500 ml (2 cups) dried split peas
- 2 yellow onions, slices
- 4 ribs celery. chopped
- 4-5 carrots, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of thyme
- 6 peppercorns
- Sufficient quantity low sodium vegetable stock (about 3 litres)
- 500 ml (2 cups) cooked ham, large dice
- sufficient quantity salt and freshly ground pepper
- To a large pot add all the ingredients, minus the diced ham and salt and pepper. Add enough vegetable stock to the pot to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, and partially cover the pot. Simmer for about 2 hours or until peas have broken down. Occasionally skim the scum that comes to the surface. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the bone (and any connective tissue that has not broken down), the bay leaves and any peppercorns you can remove easily. For a thick soup: with a hand held immersion blender, blend the soup partially leaving some larger pieces. Or puree half the soup in a blender, and return the puree to the pot. For a looser consistency do not blend at all. Add the chopped ham and season to taste. Serve with crusty bread.
*Alternately you can use pork shanks, smoked or fresh. Seasoning will vary greatly based on what you use. If using shanks you must remove them before blending the soup. The meat can be removed from the bone, shredded and added back to the pot.
Here is a Croque Monsieur with tomatoes which apparently makes it a Croque Provencal. A Croque Monsieur is standard bistro fare in France, and is often found on Québec café menus. Traditionally a Croque Monsieur is made with Swiss cheese, but today I am using brick cheddar. I did not fry these sandwiches in butter, but broiled them open faced in the oven.
- 2 sliced of bread
- Sufficient quantity unsalted butter
- 60 ml ( 1/4 cup) chopped ham or 4 slices
- 2 slices of Swiss cheese or 60 ml (1/4 cup) shredded or sliced cheddar
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) fresh tomato, seeded, diced
- Pinch of fresh or dried dill
- Pinch of paprika
- Butter the bread slices or alternately toast the slices lightly and then butter them. Cover the slices with either the sliced or chopped ham. Add the tomatoes. Sprinkle with dill. Cover with the cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Broil in center of oven until cheese has melted and is starting to turn golden. Serve with fresh vegetables, soup or a green salad.