Friday, December 30, 2016

A Pot of Split Pea Soup to See the New Year In

This Pot of Split Pea Soup Had Not Been Planned

It was a project made necessary by my thrifty soul as my friend and hostess prepared to serve dinner on Christmas Eve. I saw her slice ham to put on the serving platter and noticed she was throwing any slice with a heel or too much fat or gristle straight into the trash. 

A Pot of Split Pea Soup to See the New Year In

I asked her why she wasn't saving it for a soup. She said she didn't want to make soup. She offered to give me any more slices she didn't want, along with the bone. How could I refuse such a gift? Into a plastic bag it went, and it traveled between my cooler in the car and the refrigerators in our motel rooms, until we returned home from our three-day trip. 

Over the past two days, I made the soup. I put the ingredients together two days ago and let the soup simmer until most of the liquid fat had risen to the top. Then I cooled the whole crockpot overnight so the fat would congeal for easy removal with a spoon. I did that job yesterday. I also trimmed all remaining fat from the hambone and the meat slices so the soup would be as fat-free as possible. 

I sampled a small cup of soup last night. That taste made me very glad I had saved those ham scraps from the trashman and brought them home. The soup was worth the effort. 

Today and tomorrow we will enjoy having it to heat up. It will be perfect for the cold gloomy weather we have. It remains to be seen if we will get rain before the day is over. It's supposed to come at just the time I plan to be eating this soup tonight. We will also heat it up to enjoy as wait for 2017 to arrive.

My crockpot makes the preparation of soup as easy as it can be. My food processor helped, too, since it made slicing the onions, celery, and garlic a snap. I love not having to watch a pot on the stovetop to keep the soup from burning or boiling over. 

I often keep the soup simmering on low for a couple of hours, let it go automatically to warm for a couple more, and then keep switching until I'm ready to refrigerate the soup after eating. These are my best helpers in making soup.  Why not treat yourself to one you don't have?

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