Canning Split Pea and Ham Soup.

Winter’s coming, and that means time for the canner to come out and play!  Summer is way too hot to have all that going on in my non-air-conditioned kitchen.  Soups are always a challenge for the canner, because you have to avoid all starches…so no rice or pasta (my favorite things in soups!).  Split pea and ham is something I always enjoy in a restaurant, so I thought I’d give it a try.  Thanks to foodpreserving.org for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 4)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 sticks)
  • 1 cup diced onion (about 1 large or 2 medium)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 ounces dried green split peas
  • 8 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions:

  • Wash and dice carrots, celery, and onion.
  • Cook on medium heat, in a big stockpot for about five minutes so they soften.
  • If vegetables start to stick, add 1/2 cup water.
  • Rinse peas and remove any that are discolored.
  • Add peas, minced garlic, and hot chicken stock to the pot, mixing well to combine.
  • Simmer 50-60 minutes, or until peas are soft and tender.
  • Add diced ham to soup, simmering 20 more minutes.
  • Add an extra cup of hot water if soup thickens too much.
  • Prep canning jars/lids.
  • Fill jars with hot soup, leaving one inch headspace.
  • Process pint jars for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
  • Add extra water if needed when reheating.

Notes:

  • I just noticed as I was typing this up that the bay leaf is mentioned in the ingredients, but nowhere in the instructions.  I completely left it out.  I’m sure you could add and then remove before canning.
  • The soup turned out pretty good.  The consistency came out perfectly, I did not need to add any extra water along the way.  I’m also realizing that I didn’t add any salt/pepper (again mentioned in the ingredients but not the instructions). Definitely could have used a little more flavor.
  • I also think it could use more ham.  Maybe an extra half a cup at least.  That would help the flavor too!
  • I like to can soup in 3/4 pint jars (the ones they usually picture when canning asparagus or other tall vegetables).  A pint jar is too much for me, especially if I am just taking it for lunch at work, but a half pint too little.  The 3/4 pint jars are tough to find, but if you spot them somewhere they work out great.
  • Having said all that, it was a good start.  I will definitely make again and tweak as noted.
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