Split Pea Soup with Country Ham

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This comforting, old-fashioned soup freezes well, so double the recipe and freeze half for an easy dinner. Just thaw and reheat.

 Makes 2 ½ to 3 quarts; Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 thin slices country ham, chopped (about 4 to 5 ounces, bone and rind removed)

6 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup dry white wine

10 cups chicken broth

1 cup dried green split peas, picked over and rinsed

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried marjoram or basil

2 bay leaves

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the celery and carrots. Cook 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.

2. Add the ham and garlic and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly.

3. Add the wine, split peas, salt, pepper, marjoram, and bay leaves; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1 ¼ hours, until the peas are soft and the soup is creamy and thick. (Note: If you prefer and even thicker, creamier soup, cook up to 15 to 20 minutes longer.)

4. Add the parsley and stir to mix. Discard the bay leaves. Serve immediately.


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