As Fall turns into Winter, all official like, on the solstice, many people around the world celebrate this turn of the season. I always think of it as one last hurrah before we hunker down for the colder months to come. One last feast of plenty in preparation of leaner times. Well, at least that’s how I think it used to be.
In the US, our Holiday Season begins with Thanksgiving and extends straight through to New Year’s Day. In a country of plenty, we’ve taken plenty to the nth degree straight into a month and a half of plenty. I want to muster some form of disgust at this blatant display of wealth and abundance but I can’t. I really can’t. Because the food is frickin’ delicious. Some part of me is just not able to flame the small amount of guilt at loving the food so much into a conflagration. I’m too distracted by the yummy. I like celebrating with food and friends and family and fellowship with all of the above. I like the convivial communal table that comes with such yummy goodness.
To assuage some of the feelings that not feeling bad makes me feel, I pay homage to principles of conservation. What the hell do I mean, you ask. Well, it really is all about the ham bone. Left-overs, yo. What the hell to do with the ham bone. Cause I know you saved it instead of being wasteful. If you thought ahead, you left lots of meat on the bone. Were going to use it to make split pea soup. So break out the Beano, or just go find a room in which to be alone.
Repurpose the Bone! 😉
Foggy Bottom Split Pea Soup
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, half-mooned
3 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
Ham Bone- leave the meat on as it cooks
8 cups chicken/turkey stock (I make stock from the bones of the Thanksgiving turkey)
1 small bag green or yellow split peas
optional: 3 medium diced red or yellow potatoes
1. Over medium heat, cook onions until translucent. Add garlic, cook for a minute. *I like garlic in my split pea soup. Some people don’t. Omit if you want.* Add carrots and celery. *If you’re adding potatoes, do it here as well.* Cook for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the Herbes de Provence. Cook for 2 minutes more.
2. Place Ham bone in the center of the pot. Sprinkle the peas around the bone. Cover with broth- use more or less depending on how big your pot is. Also, any stock not used can be added in later. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 40-45 minutes, or until peas are tender.
3. Remove ham bone and set aside to cool slightly. Mash some of the peas with a big spoon, or blend half of it, or use a hand mixer and pulse a few times. Leave enough peas and veggies intact to not have the whole thing mushed. When bone is cool, remove meat. Either tear or chop ham and put back into the pot. Correct seasoning and liquid level. Serve with fresh parsley on top.