This soup is hearty and extremely flavorful and one that I have made many times in the past and even served to my guests with rave reviews all around! --- I make this soup using all chicken broth but if you are using the canned chicken broth, it is best to use only 4 cans and the rest water, also I suggest not to add any salt into this soup until the end of cooking --- if desired you may puree the soup after cooking and then return it to the saucepan and if you should decide to do so heat the soup again in the saucepan then ladle hot soup into serving dishes, and for a nice presentation drizzle about 1 tablespoon whipping cream in the soup but do not mix in --- you will love this soup!
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 -2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (or to taste)
- 3 tablespoons oil (not olive oil)
- 1 (16 ounce) bag dried split green peas
- 1 ham bone (make certain that the bone has a fair amount of meat on it)
- 4 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
- 3 cups water (for a very thick soup use only 2 cups water, you can always add in more water during cooking)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper (I use seasoned salt)
- 2 -3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional, add in towards the end of cooking and heat through)
- 1 cup cooked rice (or to taste)
- whipping cream (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or saucepan saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft (about 5-6 minutes).
- Add in broth, dried split peas, water, ham bone and bay leaf; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the soup thickens (add in the diced carrots the last hour of cooking).
- Add in pepper to taste.
- Remove the ham bone and bay leaf.
- At this point the soup can be pureed if desired.
- When the ham is cool, pull the meat from the bone and shred it into bite-size pieces, then return to the saucepan, or serve on the side.
- Add in rice and stir until heated through.
- Ladle into serving bowls, and drizzle with whipped cream if desired.