This is one of the family’s favorites.
A great way to use up the left over ham from a dinner such as Xmas since the soup can be canned. Rather then making another big meal you have to try getting eaten before to goes bad, you make the soup and can it. Then you can pull it out on a night when you don't have time to make a meal. Two birds, one stone.
- Number of pints (servings) can vary based on the amount of ham you put into you soup and the amount the soup cooks down during the process.
- Read through the entire recipe before getting started.
- Cooking time does not include canning processing time
- 4 quarts of water
- Bay leaves 2 large (or 4 small)
- 1 packet of Herb Ox beef bullion
- 1 packet Herb Ox chicken bullion
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 pounds of split yellow peas
- Knife: something to cut ham with and chunk up your onion with
- 6 quart (or larger) pot
- 4 quart (or larger) pot
- wooden spoon with flat edge (I actually use a bamboo spatula)
- food processor
- 10 pint jars
- Pressure Canner
- canning funnel
- 2 pot holders
Take the ham bone, skin, fat and other such uneaten bits as well as the left over meat. How much meat you use is a personal preference. You can make the soup without adding any meat beyond the bone and scrap pieces. Or you can make this soup with a full ham that you bought for the purpose of making soup with. I tend to keep about 2 cups of ham meat aside along with the bone and scraps.
Prep the meat: Separate the bone, cartilage, fat and skin (scraps) from the meat. Set the meat aside.
Put the scraps in a 4 quart (or larger) pot. Cover with hot water. Measure the water as you are adding it and take note of how much you have in there (don’t add more then 4 quarts). The volume of water is important later.
Toss in 2 large bay leaves or 4 small ones. I consider one the length of my palm a large leaf and one that’s half the length or less a small leaf. And if it’s longer then the length of my palm then it’s fucking huge. You’re looking for about a hand length’s worth of bay leaves. That’s how I measure it.
Add one packet of Herb Ox beef bullion and one packet Herb Ox chicken bullion. Herb Ox is a sodium free bullion which is super important when cooking with ham. You can use another brand, but just be sure it is sodium free. Bring this to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Keep covered. This is going to simmer for at least an hour. To know it’s cooked long enough, you’ll see several things: 1. the bone marrow will be soft and will be easy to scoop out of the bone (and you’ll want to do that, it gives great flavor), 2. the bone will be almost naked, 3. the fat will be melted down into the water.
While the scraps are cooking. Prep your onion and garlic. Peel them and puree them. You don’t have to puree them, but the texture of your soup will be better if you do.
Once your scraps are done cooking, it is time to remove them from the broth. You can do this with a slotted spoon, but I find that to be a complete pain in the ass. I put another pot in the sink, put a colander in it and then dump the scraps and broth into the colander so that the broth strains through into the other pot while the scraps are caught in the colander. This is much faster. It catches all the little stuff and the bay leaves too. Then I pour it back into the black pot because it is making the cooking go faster and because my black pot is bigger.
Then you put the broth back on the heat. Add in the onion, garlic and ham meat. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. Add in the peas and enough water to bring you to a total of 4 quarts of water.
Cover and simmer until the peas have completely disintegrated. If the water comes to a boil, turn down the heat. Stir occasionally. It is important that the soup doesn’t boil since this will likely lead to the pea sticking and scorching.
As soon as the soup is done, ladle into pint jars. Use a canning funnel to make this easier. Leave 1 inch head space. Process in pressure cooker for 1 hour 15 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Reference the Ball Blue Book for further canning guidelines.