The Way I Was

Hambone, Hambone, Pea Soup (inspired by Nick and Joan’s Place)

That's what bone-in ham looks like. To slice it, stand it up in a small tub or pot to hold the bottom steady and cut in slices from the meatiest edge toward the bone.
That’s what bone-in ham looks like. To slice it, stand it up in a small tub or pot to hold the bottom steady and cut horizontally in slices from the meatiest edge toward the bone. Use the hambone to make stock.

Nick and Joan have been serving breakfast and lunch at their Place near T.F.Green airport for over 29 years. Known for their meaty slices of real ham cut off the bone and their caring, friendly welcome and service, they also make a delicious, hearty, homemade pea soup, the old-fashioned way, from a stock made from hambone.

Here’s my pea soup recipe, inspired by my favorite Rhode Island airport-neighborhood place. Autumn is a-comin, by gum, and this soup will warm you in the most delightful way.

Split Pea Soup with ham (serves 8)

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, butter or bacon grease (grease is best, and it won’t kill you, it’s only a wee tablespoon)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 large clove minced garlic
  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 2 quarts ham stock made from leftover hambones (cover 1-2 large hambones with 2 quarts water, add a bay leaf, pepper, a garlic clove, 1/2 of an onion, a carrot, a stalk of celery, and simmer on low heat, covered for 2 hours. Strain and refrigerate for up to 48 hours or freeze for up to 6 months)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped, leftover ham
  • celery salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cream for garnish (optional, but very tasty and pretty)
  1. In large stop pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté onion until wilted. Do not allow onion to brown. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  2. Sort and rinse peas, then add to the pot. Cover with stock. Add thyme and bay leaf. Simmer, covered, one hour or until peas are fully cooked. If soup gets too thick and pasty, add some water.
  3. Puree half the soup with an immersion blender, food processor or drink blender and return to the pot to re-warm. Add the ham.
  4. Season to taste with celery salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with cream. Serve with grilled cheese on rye bread and some veggie sticks to make a hearty meal. For a drink pairing, try a malty assam tea (Irish breakfast) or a hoppy ale, such as good old Liberty Ale  (the one that started the craft-beer revolution in 1975).

What’s your favorite autumn soup? (If you have a recipe on your blog, please feel free to post your link).

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16 thoughts on “Hambone, Hambone, Pea Soup (inspired by Nick and Joan’s Place)”

    1. We stopped at Nick & Joan’s for lunch yesterday–sat at the counter and Ken made up his own sandwich, which Nick was happy to provide for him. Ham sliced off the bone, grilled, topped with white American, served on a toasted Kaiser roll with mayo, lettuce & fresh tomato. It was definitely yum! 🙂

    1. It would be different, but on could use chicken broth and substitute smoked chicken, or tandoori chicken for the ham, and use cilantro instead of thyme. It would be very tasty, I think–but, it wouldn’t taste the same.

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