What to do with a leftover ham bone….make split pea soup, duh…I mean, what else would you do with a ham bone, especially one that still has juicy pieces of ham stuck to it? Don’t toss it! Split pea soup is my favorite way to use a ham bone and with Easter just right around the corner, you’ll be able to save your Easter ham bone and make split pea soup.
Kris and I host a Christmas party for all our friends every December. We roast a turkey, bake a ham, make mashed potatoes, rolls, salad, dessert. Pretty much go all out, it’s crazy, but I love it! I love hosting dinner parties. A lot of work but sooooo worth it! And the best part, leftovers! A week’s worth of leftovers, because after a full day of cooking for 20+ people, Kris and get to sit back and relax the day after the Christmas party (and maybe we might have drank a little too much as well…) and enjoy all the leftovers.
We save the ham bone, obviously, and I use it make split pea soup, enough split pea to have it for days and days. Kris doesn’t like split pea as much as I do. He’s okay having it once or twice and then he’s good till next year…but me, I’m happy eating split pea soup for a week. I think the green color might turn some people off to split pea. I know that I didn’t like it when I was a kid. Honestly, I don’t think I even tried it till I was in college.
There’s something about making it yourself though. I just throw all the ingredients into my Dutch oven and let it simmer on the stove top for a few hours. It smells amazing. The sweet, saltiness of the ham bone simmering in broth with onions, celery, carrots, lots of garlic (I love garlic), chunks of leftover ham, and the split peas. I like my split pea soup more on the chunky side. I’ve blended it in the past but don’t really like blended pieces of ham…. After an hour or two, the split peas cook down into a perfect puree, and the flavors start to infuse together. Any ham that’s left on the bone will fall off during the cooking process. Once the bones are clean, I discard them and dinner is served!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 4 cups dried split peas
- 1 leftover ham bone
- Leftover ham pieces (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot
- Add in onion, carrots, and celery. Cook about 5 minutes, until soft.
- Add garlic and cook another few minutes until fragrant.
- Add broth.
- Add split peas
- Add ham bone and any leftover ham pieces.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for a few hours (2-3 hours), until peas are soft.