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BackstoryThis recipe is so adaptable. If you don't have the potato or carrot, skip it. I've made this soup with each of the meats listed below. Pick one and use it. When I know someone does not care for garlic, oregano, paprika, or basil, I skip it. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings, as desired.
- 8 cups water *
- 1 pound - 2-1/2 cups split peas (green, yellow, or combination)
- ham bone or hocks, ham, smoked/Polish sausage, mettwurst, OR a couple cooked bratwurst
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 potato, diced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (depending on saltiness of meat)
- sweet basil
- OVERNIGHT METHOD: Pour water and split peas in Dutch oven or soup pan. Soak overnight. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil two minutes. Skim the foam. Drain and rinse the split peas.** Add 8 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil Simmer 1 hour.
- SAME DAY METHOD: Pour water and split peas in Dutch oven or soup pan. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil two minutes. Skim the foam. Drain and rinse the split peas.** Add 8 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour.
- Add ham bone or chopped meat. Simmer for an hour or two, until meat is ready to fall of the bone. Remove bone from pan. Chop meat and return to pan. Add optional ingredients, if desired.
- Approximately an hour before serving: Add onion, celery, carrot, and potato. Cook until tender.
- Before serving, season to taste. If desired, puree in blender.
- *Chicken broth can be used in place of water.
- **Reduces the gassiness of dried bean/pea soups.