2 tablespoons olive oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 carrots chopped
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 pound split peas, picked through for pebbles then rinsed with cold water
One left-over ham bone
Chopped ham from the bone – or add 1-2 cups of chopped smoked ham
8 cups ham bone broth
To make the broth:
Place the ham bone in a large pot and cover with approx. 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to gently boil for approx. 2 hours to create a flavorful broth. Remove the bone and cut up any of the remaining ham and set aside. This step can be done a day or so in advance.
In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, carrots and onion, and saute for 15 minutes to build flavor, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Add the thyme and bay leaf, and cook on low for 3 more minutes. Add the split peas, ham and stock. Remember to season lightly as you cook. Cook until the peas are tender and the soup has come to desired consistency. If you prefer a less thick soup, just add more water or broth.