Posts Tagged ‘Smoked Ham Shank’

I get the impression that when most people hear ‘pea soup’, they evision a bowl of thick green goo.  While I’ve seen my share of that style, I think– generally– split-pea soup has gotten a bad rap.  It doesn’t have to be tasteless mush.  Instead, split-pea soup can be beautiful, colorful, and full of amazing flavors and textures.  Of course, peas pair perfectly with the rich, salty flavor of a smoked ham shank.

It may take a bit longer to get the wonderful ham broth, but it’s worth the effort.  Keep in mind, you can cook the broth/ham shank and refrigerate it overnight or until you are ready to make the soup.  Aside from helping manage your prep time, doing so makes it easier to remove the fat from the soup.  Then re-heat the broth and continue with the recipe.  And remember, peas are best when handled delicately. Keep a watchful eye on them, as they cook rather quickly.  I like them to retain their shape and to have a bit of a toothsome bite.  Don’t forget to add the parsley and the lemon, as they really brighten this soup up.  It’s a perfect finish.  Hope you enjoy!

The Recipe:  Green and Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Ham Shank

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 large white onion, chopped (1 1/4 cups)

5 – 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)

5 – 6 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped (1 cup)

kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1 1/2 pounds smoked ham shank

1 cup yellow spilt peas, rinsed

1 cup green split peas, rinsed

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat add the olive oil.  Sauté the onion, carrots, parsnips, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes.  Add 2 quarts of water and the smoked ham shank.  Bring to a boil and cover, then reduce heat to a medium simmer.  Cook for about 2 hours, or until the ham shank is very tender and falling off of the bone.  Remove ham shank from soup and shred the ham from it.  Discard the bone.  Meanwhile, take a spoon a carefully remove any fat from the broth and discard.  Bring the broth back to a medium simmer and add the split peas and the shredded ham. Cook the soup for another 30 minutes, or until the split peas are tender, but still hold their shape.  Make sure to not over-cook it.  Re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Stir in the chopped parsley and the juice of a 1/2 lemon.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by Relishing It!


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Another Monday is here.  Another weekend blew past far too quickly.  I keep waiting for life to slow down– just a bit to let me catch my breath– but with two small children I’m trying to accept the fact that it’s not going to happen.  I know, I know.  It’s only going to get busier as they both grow and start school activities.  Even after a few years, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the pace of it all.  I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy being in my kitchen for those short stretches of free time.  It’s calm.  And I get to determine the speed of most things.  There’s a relaxing orderliness to cooking and baking that I can control.  Of course, it’s also rewarding to get to sit down at the dinner table with my family every night.  So those brief, tranquil cooking times in the kitchen have the added benefit of putting life into perspective.  It’s these little things that help paint the much bigger picture.

During one of my sabbaticals to the kitchen the other day, I made this soup.  I was interested by the fact that it combines two  atypical soup ingredients.  Apples and mustard.  Intriguing, eh?  I thought  it would all come together when I read about the smoked ham shank.  And my hunch was right, though that doesn’t do this recipe justice.  I figured it would be good, but I wasn’t prepared for just how delicious– and unique– this soup really is.  I’ve never had another with flavors even remotely similar to this one.  And that’s a good thing.  It wasn’t overly sweet, despite containing both apple cider and chopped apples.  As for the Dijon mustard– wow!  It’s the star here, adding a brilliant tang.  And though making the ham stock took a few steps, it was so worth it.  It’s a perfectly salted and smokey canvas for the other ingredients.  Once you have the stock prepared, the soup comes together in minutes, so it’s easy to prepare ahead of time.  If you get a chance to sneak away to your kitchen this week, make this soup.  I was so happy I did, and you will be too.

The Recipe: Smoked Ham Shank and Apple Soup with Dijon

(serves 4)

For the Stock:

1 1/2 pounds smoked ham shank

2 3/4 cups apple cider

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 large white onion, rough chopped

For the Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

7-8 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped

1/2 large white onion, chopped

4-5 medium yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2-3 tablespoons creamy Dijon mustard

3 tart apples, cored and peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice

kosher salt and cracked pepper, to taste

To make the stock:  In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the ham shank, 3 quarts water, apple cider, garlic cloves, and 1/2 white onion.  Simmer over medium heat for about 3 hours or until the ham is tender and falls off of the bone.  Remove the ham shank from the stockpot and place on a plate, pull the meat off of the bone and set aside; discard the bone.  Discard the garlic and onion.  Reserve the cooking liquid — you will need two quarts.  Skim the fat off of the ham stock using a ladle.  Discard the fat.

To make the soup:  Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic and cook a few minutes until soft and tender.  Add the potatoes, garlic, apples, ham, and reserved liquid and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the mustard and season with salt, if necessary.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from The Spotted Pig, New York City  via Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer’s Harvest to Heat Cookbook

So glad that you stopped by Relishing It today — hope you enjoy this soup!


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