Soup of a Different Color

So, Old Man Winter is finally coming out of hibernation and wrapping us with that cold, brisk air. After the temperatures in New England climbing to just about 70 degrees on Christmas Eve, the angry man dumps a couple inches of ice on us with cold temps. The outrageous weather was nice, but with the ups and downs, the inevitable always seems to happen…sickness! Shorts sleeves and no jackets one day to four days later needing winter coat, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, AND the ice scraper! These cold temperature always have me looking for a way to warm up. Hot cocoa is nice, chili is always a go to, but soup – that’s my girl right there!!! The best soups are ones that eat like a meal, not a first course or side dish. I like them rich, hearty, and full of flavor.

Chicken soup is great, but I was in the mood for something else. Normally I would look to one of my favs, Red Pea Soup, but I didn’t have everything on hand to make that. I had leftover ham from Christmas that I wanted to do something with. I pulled most of the meat off the bone and put it in a bag to freeze and store for a later time. What can I do with this bone?? What would you do with a turkey bones? Chicken? Make a stock for a soup! But what kind of soup…  So now I’m looking through my cabinets and fridge at what’s on hand. I had carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, celery, peppers, and ham – of course. However in the pantry was a bag of yellow peas. I had never used yellow peas before. They were actually given to me by my grandmother (I believe). So I’m thinking pea soup. First I thought about split pea because of the ham, but I didn’t want that consistency. So I decided to take what I knew about making a traditional Jamaican Red Pea Soup and apply it to this and make something somewhere in the middle!

It came out amazing! This will definitely go in my top favorites for soups now. The flavor in the stock from the ham bone was smoky and inviting. The heartiness from the vegetable was just right. Not so thick you had to say it was a stew. As the beans broke down it gave a deeper richness to the soup. That soup become my planned lunches for the week. This soup gave that leftover ham a new life! Next time I have leftover ham, I know what I’m doing…

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