Ham, Ham, Ham (Lentil, and Split Pea Soup/Stew)

Our local supermarket had an Easter ham promotion thing during March.  If we earned 400 store points then we could choose a free ham or select an upgrade ham at .99$ a pound.  Sure, I’ll take a free or discounted ham, thanks!  Recently I mentioned this ham (I chose the upgrade since I’m rather particular) in the post about making homemade horseradish.  The horseradish turned out less piquant than I hoped, and next time I’ll try waiting a while before adding the vinegar to increase the heat.  Anyway, we ate ham and salad (tomato, dill, and scallion on rocket with salt, pepper, and olive oil) for a few days, but it was time to change things up a little… soup time!  I do hesitate in calling this a soup, however.  It is so thick that I can’t imagine it not being a stew although I have never really heard of anyone calling any bean soup a stew.  (Perplexing.)  Anyway, I have a photo of some ham with salad and will start with that:

Ham and salad

As for the stew/soup I began by sautéing a chopped onion with the middle section of celery.  I added a few chopped up leftover slices of grilled onion and a grilled long hot pepper since they were hanging around.  I even tore up and tossed in bits of the charred onion skin for flavour.  Then I figured “why not add some garlic,” and lazily threw in several whole cloves.

the onion, celery, and garlic

After the onion and celery were cooked through I poured in a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes.

POM added

Evidently I was in a very experimental mood.  At this point I was planning on (and did) add a couple of anchovies thanks to reading an NPR bit which talked about using them in beef stews to add umami.  Then!  Then, I thought “why not a splash of brandy too??”  I’d used brandy in a great beef stroganoff recently, so I had plenty on hand.  At this point I wondered how crazy I was, because I was in uncharted territory with a bunch of things tossed into the pot, but… I went for it.

burning off the brandy

After the brandy cooked off I put the ham bone in and poured in water mixed with some of the ham juices.

ham bone in

I simmered it for a few hours before adding split peas and lentils for the last 45 minutes or so.

done, yummy

It turned out incredibly rich with flavour, and I do not regret anything in adding the brandy, anchovies, or burnt onion skin!

One thought on “Ham, Ham, Ham (Lentil, and Split Pea Soup/Stew)

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