I bought an adorable cookbook from a restaurant I visited last month in Florida called Aunt Catfish’s. It was cheap, a great souvenir, and I’m looking to expand my cookbook collection.
It features a few small sections, including one dedicated to their soup recipes. I didn’t get to try the soups at the restaurant, as I was seafood crazy and I wanted to try their catfish AND alligator. Both of which were really impressive.
I decided to create an Aunt Catfish-inspired soup, so I leafed through the book and landed on pea soup. I altered the original recipe a bit with the addition of some herbs and I used a precooked smoked ham instead of ham hock mainly because the butcher didn’t have any so I had no other choice!
This is the soup that converted two pea soup haters into pea soup lovers. I shared my soup with Douglas and our friend, Rachel. Neither were thrilled with the idea of pea soup, but I managed to delightfully surprise them.
I sat down and interviewed Douglas, live-in boyfriend and previous pea-hater, about his impressions on this soup.
Douglas: It was yummy.
D: It was yummier.
D: The yum-factor.
I’d like to extend my thanks to Douglas for sharing his soupy experience with me. His thoughts were extremely helpful.
- 1.5 lb smoked ham, precooked and quartered
- 2 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed
- 2 medium sized carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
Heat oil in large soup pot on medium high. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, grind in some pepper, and add the butter. Be careful with the salt, as the ham will add a lot of saltiness. Cook for 5 minutes and add the garlic, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. Cook another ten minutes or until softened.
Add the stock, water, quartered ham, and rinsed peas, and bring to high heat to boil. Once the stock is boiling, turn heat to medium and cover the pot. Cook for one hour.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Take the ham out of the pot and cut into small pieces. Use a potato masher to mash the soup until you reach a desired texture and put the ham back in. I don’t like to blend this one, but feel free to do so.
Serves 4 – 6.