A friend gave me this recipe 25 years ago. At the time, she was in her 60s and working as a cook on a riverboat barge.—Sherry Smith, Salem, Missouri
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 pound dried green split peas
- 2 quarts water
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups diced fully cooked ham
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels; drain, reserving drippings. Add onion and celery to drippings. Saute until vegetables are tender; drain. Add the peas, water, potatoes, ham, salt, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until peas are very tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.
- Cool slightly. Process in small batches in a blender until smooth. Return to Dutch oven; stir in cream. Heat through (do not boil). Garnish with reserved bacon. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts).
Originally published as Creamy Split Pea Soup in Country Extra March 2004, p51
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