Nearly once a year I always make split pea soup. I’m probably the biggest fan of it in my household, and I’m fine with that. There is something special about this soup, and it may come from the smokiness of the ham, but ultimately it is not only satisfying as it is truly comforting. So this past Christmas, my mother-in-law offered me the ham bone as she typically always does, and I never decline. I’m a fan of the ham bone as well, and I know exactly what I am going to do with that ham bone every year, and that is to make a split pea soup! This time around however, I decided to change things up a bit, and add a few additional items to the soup and turn it into a Cajun style split pea soup. I’m glad I did, because this just elevated the wonderful flavors.
Lets get started.
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 4 whole carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
- 3 whole onions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 ham bone, with ham to spare
- 1/2 pound of split peas, washed and reviewed
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 whole links of Andouille sausage, sliced into chunks
- salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 6 whole shrimp, deveined, peeled
Start by adding your stock and hambone to a soup pot. Make sure you are able to have enough stock to submerge the ham bone, if not, add some water. Toss in 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, and two onions. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 4 hours. I actually started mine in the evening and just let it cook down overnight.
After the four hours, or overnight cook, remove the ham bone and any of the large pieces of ham that might have fallen off, and set to the side. Strain the rest, reserving all of the stock. I mash every little bit ensuring that I get all of those flavors into the stock. I love this part because it allows me to use my chinois strainer!
Next, lets get the soup started.
Clean your soup pot, then return it back to the stove. On medium heat, add the stock back to the pot, and add in your split peas, the remaining carrots, celery, and onion. Season with a bit of salt, and cracked black pepper. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook.
To a skillet, add the oil, and bring to a medium heat. Toss in the garlic and Andouille sausage. Cook the sausage until it gets some nice color on it.
Shred any remaining ham, and add that to the stock mixture. Add in the bell peppers to the stock as well.
Once the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and sausage mixture to the stock. Give a good stir, and continue to cook.
Cook for about 1 hour, then taste your peas. You want them tender, but not mushy.
Once the peas are tender, add in the cleaned shrimp and cook until they are just opaque.
Now you are ready to serve!
Get out your bowls and ladle in the Cajun style split pea soup, making sure you get a bit of everything.
The end result is awesome. It’s everything you love about a split pea and ham soup, but you get the great additions of sausage, shrimp, and a bit of heat. I’m hoping my mother-in-law keeps on the tradition of providing me that ham bone because I know this is going to be my go to split pea soup from here on out! I hope you enjoy!