Tag Archives: turkey broth

Turkey Carcass Stock

5 Dec
Turkey Carcass Stock

Turkey Carcass Stock

My parents are now safely ensconced back in their home in Texas as of yesterday evening, with plenty of siblings to take care of them until in-home health care arrives. I’m not quite back to making new recipes to share, but with their departure yesterday I was able to get back into the kitchen today and make a huge 15-quart batch of turkey stock from the leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass! The house smells divine right now. This will make a great base for soups and stews over the winter.

Christmas parade float

That’s my daughter practicing her “Queen Elizabeth” wave

And the float my daughter helped prepare with her friend’s family won 3rd place out of 85 floats in our town’s annual Christmas parade that was held today!

I hope to get a new recipe up next weekend. Thanks for hanging in there with me. 🙂


How to Make a Tasty Low-Salt Chicken or Turkey Broth

21 Aug

Time for another reblog to tide you over until we move and settle in! I wanted to share some additional information for this recipe. I now try to simmer the broth at least 2 to 4 hours, as you get a really nice golden broth that way. I add a little additional water through the process if needed. Also, I’ve started using fresh garlic. Just smash the garlic with the flat side of the knife so that the skins will peel off in the cooking process. Last thing is to strain the broth through a cheese cloth after getting all the veggies out. This makes a nice, clear, golden broth without all the cloudiness from the spices and herbs. 🙂

Note: Do NOT feed your doggie any of the cooked onion or garlic if you save the veggies for treat, only the celery and carrots. Onion and garlic can make your dog sick.


As promised, I’ll share my secrets to making a soup base from chicken or turkey, that is both low salt and also deliciously rich and eye-pleasing. Well, there aren’t really that many secrets to it, but a few extra “ingredients” can go a long way in stocking your freezer with plenty of tasty soup stock in the months ahead.

When my husband was told quite a few years ago he had to take high-blood pressure medicine and go on a low-salt diet, I knew it was time to get serious about not using pre-processed canned or packaged items, including any form of chicken bullion. That went right out of the cupboard. Many years before that, though, I did make homemade chicken broth, but on a very irregular basis, and half the time I would forget about those containers in the freezer until they were so ice-crystal laden and freezer burnt…

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Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

29 Jan
Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Smoky, spicy, and tangy. That is how I would describe this soup. I was pondering what to do with our leftover Carnitas when inspiration struck me while walking through the produce section at the grocery store. It appeared a fresh load of tomatillos had arrived at the store, as the bin was overflowing with them. I decided right then and there I was going to make some carnitas soup with tomatillos. I grabbed about 8 of them, which turned out to be 3/4 pounds.

This soup was a tad too much on the spicy side for my husband but he still ate his full bowl. I had added the other half of the jalapeño I hadn’t used in the carnitas, but I also added 1/2 of a canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. (Please note that is 1/2 of a pepper, not 1/2 of the can!!) Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce have a beautiful smoky taste, but beware, those peppers are not only smoky flavored, but SPICY! So, so reduce the amount down, if needed.

Tomatillos for Soup

Tomatillos for Soup

Tomatillos are a very tangy fruit, so that is where you get the tangy. But we all enjoyed the flavors and textures of the soup, and my daughter even went back for seconds even though it made her sweat, lol! You can freeze the leftover chipotle chiles for a future use. I love to add a small amount  of them to white beans and garlic as a side dish, oooh yum. Last, the store I went to only had mongo pound-plus cans of hominy, so I just use a cup and a half of them, but if your store has a 14-ounce can or so you could use that instead. Once again, I froze the rest of them for future use.

Tomatillos, Onions, and Jalapeno

Tomatillos, Onions, and Jalapeno

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

1 pound leftover Carnitas, recipe here, or cooked pork
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
3/4 pounds tomatillos, husks remove, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, diced small
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced small (or less)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 to 6 cups homemade chicken, turkey, or beef broth (or combination of any)
1 1/2 cups white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 jar of homemade tomatoes, diced, or can of diced tomatoes with liquid
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

Carnitas Soup Simmering

Carnitas Soup Simmering

Hopefully you have leftover Carnitas at this point. If not, cook up some pork with spices and set aside. Then chop up your onion, tomatillos, and jalapeño.  Heat up a dutch oven or soup pot over medium, then add the olive oil. I’m so bad about amounts on this part, I just eyeball it. But use enough to saute all your veggies. Once the onions start to soften, add the diced chipotle pepper and garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add the broth (I used a combo of turkey and beef broth) and then turn up to high until boiling. Add the hominy, Carnitas or pork, tomatoes, and cilantro. Bring back up to a boil again, then turn down to low to simmer. Simmer for at least one hour to let the flavors meld. Serve with additional cilantro and/or lime, to taste. Yummy!

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Turkey, Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

1 Dec
Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo (with Okra!)

I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe that will help use up the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and The Homesick Texan “brought it home” for me with this one! I told my husband I was going to make this, and he said, “I don’t like gumbo.” Well. I think he said that as a knee-jerk reaction to okra. He doesn’t like okra, ergo he doesn’t like gumbo. “I don’t plan on putting any okra in this one. It will have turkey, ham, and smoked sausage in it! Doesn’t that sound great?” Pretty much no reaction to that. He doesn’t like okra, ergo, he doesn’t like gumbo. I made it anyways. Plus, since I’m such a great gal, I bought some shrimp to add to it because he loves shrimp.

The Holy Trinity and Meats

The Holy Trinity and Meats

The day before I made this, hubby and I teamed together to make a huge pot of turkey broth from the carcass, recipe here: How to Make Homemade Turkey Broth. You can never have too much turkey or chicken stock on hand. You can substitute low-sodium store-bought, but why? The original recipe makes enough to serve 10 to 12, so I halved it as well as made other adaptions/tweaks (including adding about a cup of my homemade canned tomatoes). Feel free to experiment! And if you like okra, by all means add some of that too. Since I wasn’t going to add gumbo, I was also going to add some file powder to thicken it, but alas, the Pacific Northwest does not seem to know of its existence (I scoured four different stores!), so I had to substitute a little cornstarch for the thickener.

Turkey, Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
Adapted from Turkey Gumbo, The Homesick Texan

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 large rib celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/8 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more if you like spicy
5 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup sliced smoked sausage (1/2 of a horseshoe link)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
1/2 cup frozen okra, microwaved for 3 minutes (optional)
Cooked rice, for serving
2 green onions, green part only, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron dutch oven or cast iron skillet, add the oil and flour and whisk well to combine. (You are making a roux here, the easy way!) Place in the oven for an hour and a half, whisking every 20 minutes or so.

Caramel-Colored Roux

Caramel-Colored Roux

Meanwhile, you can prep your veggies, chop up the turkey meat, and brown the sliced sausage and diced ham in a skillet sprayed with a little oil. Set aside.

When the roux is done (it should be a nice caramel brown), carefully remove it from the oven. If you have a cast iron dutch oven, you can continue cooking the gumbo in it. If you don’t (like me), transfer the roux to a regular dutch oven and place on the stove burner over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, red peppers, and garlic, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Sauteing the Veggies in Roux

Sauteing the Veggies in Roux

Now add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, Worcestershire, Mrs. Dash (or salt), black pepper,  cayenne pepper, and mix well. Gradually add the turkey broth, stirring constantly. Add the turkey, ham, smoked sausage, bay leaves, and sugar, bring to a low simmer, and cook for about an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
Turkey Sausage Ham Gumbo

Turkey Sausage Ham Gumbo Simmering ~ No Shrimp Yet!

During this time you can cook your rice. In the last 10 minutes or so, add the shrimp (if using) until cooked through. Last, add the cornstarch mixture to the pot (or file powder if you have it), stirring to combine. Simmer for a few more minutes, turn the heat off, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. Serve over the cooked rice and garnish with green onions. (Pssst, I added some cooked okra to my bowl!)
My daughter really liked this, and my husband went back for seconds and looked me square in the face and said, “This had a nice blend of flavors, the perfect spice amount, and the shrimp really added to it, Thank You.” (except you don’t want to know what he said when I forced him to try a spoonful of mine with the okra in it… lol!)
Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Rainy Days and Homemade Turkey/Chicken Stock

29 Sep
Homemade Turkey Chicken Stock

Homemade Turkey Chicken Stock

When a huge Pacific Northwest storm waylays your vacation plans, why sit around and stare at the wind and rain? Why not whip up an enormous batch of homemade turkey and chicken stock to fill the freezer for fall and winter soups?

That’s exactly what we did. Almost 12 quarts. We are talking 45 cups of delicious homemade stock made from a turkey carcass I froze a few months ago and a chicken carcass from a recent rotisserie chicken dinner. Add in a bag of baby carrots, almost an entire bunch of celery, one huge sweet onion and other spices, and you’ve filled an entire 15-quart pot to the brim!

Homemade Stock Ready to Freeze

Homemade Stock Ready to Freeze

Rather than repeat the process I used, I will refer you back to my post from over a year ago where I detailed out the steps: How to Make a Tasty Low-Salt Chicken or Turkey Broth. In this referred recipe, I simmered the broth for about 40 minutes, but this time I simmered it for almost three hours. If you have the time, the longer you simmer it the richer your stock will be. When my daughter got home from her dance practice, she said the house smelled like Thanksgiving! So what do you do on rainy days?

Egg Drop Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

13 Apr
Egg Drop Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

Egg Drop Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

Here’s a quick and easy soup I made for lunch the other day, but it’s filling enough for a meatless main and packed with protein and nutrients. I actually had it in mind to  make a turkey noodle soup with the leftover turkey breast I had hanging around in the fridge, but at the last minute I switched it out with eggs because, well, that’s what I do sometimes. After I ladled this into a bowl and took all my photos, I took a sip and frowned, thinking, “something is missing.” DOH! I forgot the lime juice and cilantro. I poured my bowl back into the pot, squeezed in the lime, and chopped up some fresh cilantro, and mixed that in. There, much better.

But I didn’t retake the photos, because I was on lunch break and had to eat and get back to work. And that brings me to a very important lesson in cooking. Always taste test throughout the preparation, so you can adjust seasonings accordingly or “notice” the lack of an ingredient — or two. Yes, I was rushed for time, but it was no excuse. But it all turned out good in the end. This made enough for four servings. The next day, I packed the leftovers for lunch and added some shredded turkey breast. Power lunch!

Egg Drop Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms

Egg Drop Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms

Egg Drop Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 teaspoon dried, ground ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh, diced)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
4 cups homemade or low sodium chicken or turkey broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2-inch round of angel hair pasta, broken in half
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Juice of one small lime, plus wedges for serving
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

In a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add the oils then saute the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and white onion parts until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about five minutes.  Pour in the chicken or turkey broth, add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, and bring up to a boil. Add the angel hair pasta, and bring to a low boil and simmer until pasta is tender, about five more minutes. Slowly stream in the eggs, breaking up with a fork and stirring to make egg threads. Add the chopped spinach by handfuls, pushing down into the liquid and stir until wilted. Squeeze in the lime juice, then add the chopped cilantro. Simmer until heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onion, cilantro, and a lime wedge.

Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

2 Mar
Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

My husband really does cook a lot in this household. The problem is, whenever he cooks, I’m usually off and about doing other things since I don’t have to cook that night, so don’t get the photos or the recipe or method he used. Last night however, I hovered around him, took a few photos, helped out a tad, and probably made him a little irritated with my cooking opinions. He’s made asparagus soup for us before, but this time he added some different ingredients that I felt made it worth a new post. He also cooked the turkey broth base from scratch! OK that was one thing I did help him with. I’m the queen of broth-makers, and had to make sure it was done right. (Although in reality it’s hard to mess it up at all, hmmm.) Nonetheless, this was a satisfying meal and the Ricotta cheese really gave the cream base a nice flavor that prevented it from tasting too floury. He made my Spinach Lasagna the other night, and had leftover Ricotta cheese he wanted to use. Also fresh early spring asparagus has started showing up in the stores and he had bought some of that. Then we had a leftover roasted chicken breast from the night before. He did some interwebz searches, and this is what he came up with. Thumbs up, hubby!

Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

1 pound asparagus, woody stems removed, tips cut off and reserved
4 to 6 cups chicken or turkey broth, homemade or low-sodium
1/2 cup diced onion
3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup low-fat Ricotta cheese
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 tablespoon real bacon bits, optional
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, optional
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
Shredded Parmesan for garnish, optional

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, add the broth and asparagus (minus tips) and onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until asparagus is very soft. Meanwhile parboil the diced potatoes in another pot for about 10 minutes, drain, and set aside. Using tongs, remove half of the asparagus to a large blender or food processor and puree with about a cup of the broth and the 1 cup of Ricotta cheese. Pour mixture back into pot, then remove the rest of the asparagus and some of the liquid and blend again. Pour that back into the pot and add the reserved potatoes and asparagus tips, shredded chicken, bacon bits (optional), black pepper, and salt to taste.  In a small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together then slowly pour into the soup. Mix well and bring up to a low simmer again, and heat through about 10 or 15 minutes. Serve with warm French bread and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

26 Jan
Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Mom!? We’re having soup AGAIN??!! You’ve made that like five times already the past week! (Not true.) OK, OK, my soup kick has gotten out of hand. But I’m in comfort mode. It’s winter, the hubby is gone on a business trip for two weeks, my work is crazy busy right now, and that’s what I feel like eating. So there. I did, however, promise the daughter I’d serve her  some “real food” next, although I can’t quite figure out how a good soup for dinner is not real food. Oh well.

So this is another one of my Asian-inspired soups that is a snap to make. I used my Inside-Out Won-Ton Soup broth as the base, but then threw in some new flavors and textures. To make this really simple, I picked up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from my physical therapy after work for my pinky finger (YES, I still can’t straighten the durn thang… apparently in the long healing process my tendon got stuck to the top of my joint and will be awhile to get it unstuck). I also picked up a baby bok choy, which was an astounding $2.99 a pound, but I handled it and it felt pretty light. At the checkout stand it only ended up 53 cents. I can do that! I also picked up some quite spendier fresh basil, as I know I have some cilantro-hater fans (read it’s SOAP!) so I thought I’d throw some of that in to see how that melded.  A fairly decent-priced bag of bean sprouts was also added to the cart. With all that in hand, I traveled home to concoct a really soothing, very slightly spicy, chicken noodle soup. I didn’t bother even looking for rice noodles at the store as I knew they didn’t have any from my prior hunt. So I used Angel Hair pasta snapped in half instead. This took about 35 minutes to make from start to finish to table to eat. Well, it actually took me closer to 45 minutes by dinking with my camera to take pics because I forgot to add the green onion for garnish in my first shots, and when I reshot with them I forgot to do my white balance setting again.My daughter ate it during that process. All in good time.

OK friends, now on to the recipe! Oh, and I made half the amount I normally would, so feel free to double or triple.

Simmering Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Simmering Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Soothing Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Angel hair pasta, broken in half
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large white mushroom, sliced
1/2 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 or 2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
1 cup baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 tablespoon lime juice
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped

Asian Soup Ingredients

Some of the Asian Soup Ingredients

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta, then start gathering and chopping up all the ingredients. Things tend to go quickly when cooking Asian, so it’s always best just to have everything ready. When the water starts boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. I’m sorry I didn’t give you an amount to use, as I’m terrible about measuring or guessing pasta amounts to cook. Go with your gut. If you don’t have enough, that won’t matter much with the soup, or if you have too much, just leave some in the pot for something else. When all your ingredients are ready, heat the sesame oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and the white and light green parts of the green onion. Saute for five minutes, then add the broth, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring this up to a low boil, then turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes. Now add the cooked angel hair pasta, shredded chicken, bean sprouts, bok choy, spinach, and lime juice. Come up to a simmer again, and let the flavors meld for about another 10 minutes. Serve in bowls garnished with the green onion parts, fresh chopped cilantro and/or basil. This was a perfect soothing soup for a cold winter’s night, and I cursed myself for halving the recipe, as the one small  portion of leftovers the next day was fabulous and I was hankering for more.

Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans, and Tomatoes

19 Jan
Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans and Tomatoes

Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans and Tomatoes

I’m so excited! I’ve just come back from the most amazing digital photography class. I now officially know how to mess with most of the dials, menus, and gadgets on my digital camera. That doesn’t mean I can use them well yet, but with a little practice (OK a LOT of practice) I should be able to start taking my food photographs the way I want to quickly instead of having to eat my dinner cold every night because after 20 minutes of trial and error I just give up and photoshop the crap out of them. On to the recipe now, with one of my digitally “enhanced” food shots from earlier in the week.

We had quite the soup week at our house. If you still have any leftover turkey in the freezer you are still trying to use up, this soup is an excellent candidate. And it’s quick, too! Perfect for a weeknight meal. And you can easily substitute many of the ingredients, or leave them out all together. The original recipe came from Taste of Home, but I lacked some of the fresh ingredients it called for and was able to substitute with frozen or canned. And because I felt like it, I also added a couple of new things, like lemon and onion. Whenever I see spinach in a recipe now, I always think of adding crushed red pepper flakes and lemon juice. I sure wish I had fresh spinach for this, but using frozen worked out fine.

Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans, and Tomatoes
Adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups homemade or low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
2 cans low-sodium petite diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, or 1 6-0unce package fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cans white beans, any kind, drained and rinsed
2 cups turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
Shredded parmesan cheese

In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil and saute the carrots and onions for about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook about a minute more. Add the broth, then bring up to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese, bring back up to a simmer, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese and crusty bread, or in our case, crackers. No fresh, crusty bread in the houses that night either. This soup is filling and full of flavor, and a snap to make.

Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup with Ham Bone in the Crock Pot

9 Jan
Split Pea Soup with Ham Bone

Split Pea Soup with Ham Bone

There was a ham bone with lots of meat on it leftover from New Year’s day dinner screaming at me from the freezer this past weekend, telling me to make something with it before it got freezer burnt and useless like the last one I saved. So I one-track-minded it over to the grocery store and zipped straight over to the bulk bin section to buy dried split peas before I forgot to buy them. I have seriously gone to the store with a written list before and have forgotten the ONE ITEM I really went to the store to buy. I mean, really.

OK, and I confess. I didn’t zip straight over to the peas. I had to go through the produce section to get to the bulk aisle, and grabbed more carrots in case I needed them (I didn’t) and somehow the wonton wrappers caught my eye and it reminded me of another soup I wanted to make, so grabbed those too. And just below the wonton wrappers were the fresh ginger pieces. I was pretty sure the other soup had ginger in it, so picked up a chunk of that too. Then I remembered it called for cabbage. I had to backtrack for that. The cabbages in stock were the size of basketballs! I grabbed one anyways and could barely stuff it into the plastic veggie bag. On my way out of produce, my eye then caught the pre-shredded cole slaw packages. Cheap too. OK, forget the basketball. I backtracked again to put it back to let some other soul wrastle with the beastie. NOW I was on my way to the split peas. I did get them, I really did. Oooh, and I bought fresh parsley too!  I don’t do that often, I usually use the dried flakes.  But it was cheap too. Now I have enough to decorate plates for weeks to come, if it doesn’t turn into a soggy green mush pile in the bottom of my veggie drawer.

On to the recipe. I have made this throughout the years and just wing it, like most things I’ve done that I’ve made for years. A ham bone in the freezer + one pound of split peas + carrots, celery, and onion + chicken broth + seasonings = Split Pea Soup. Easy Peasy, right?

Split Pea Soup with Ham

1 pound dried split peas, rinsed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped,
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
2 bay leaves
Mrs. Dash Seasoning, any kind, or salt to taste
Lots of ground black pepper
1 ham bone with plenty of meat attached, frozen or not
8 to 10 cups of chicken or turkey broth, homemade preferably, or low salt

Chop up all those purdy veggies and parsley first and throw them in the crock pot with the split peas. They make a pretty picture that’s for sure, don’t they?

Split Pea Soup Veggies ad Parsley

Split Pea Soup Veggies and Parsley

Next, add all the seasonings, then the ham bone. You really don’t have to defrost it if it’s frozen because it cooks so long. I had a large Tupperware container of turkey broth that measured just at 7 1/2 cups that I had made from my leftover turkey carcass from Thanksgiving in the freezer. You can use chicken broth too, of course. I defrosted that then poured it into the crock pot.  (Oh you will need a 5 to 6 quart crock pot for this.) You want enough broth to cover the ham hock and I was about a half-inch shy, so I just added just enough water to cover so you can do that too, if needed. There’s plenty of tastiness in this dish to not make a difference.  Now is the easy-peasy part. Put the crock pot on low, then fuhgedaboutit for 8 to 10 hours. We left the house later in the day to watch NFL football playoffs at a sports bar, and no, the house did not burn down and we came home to a wonderful aroma of dinner just waiting for us! After 8 or so hours or if you can’t wait to dive into this soup, scoop out about four or five cups of it (oh gosh don’t forget to remove the bay leaves first) and blend it in a blender or food processor until smooth, then return it to the pot. Next, remove the ham bone (the meat will be literally falling off it), shred the meat and discard the bone and any fatty pieces, then return the ham to the pot. Now you can serve in a bowl. Don’t forget to chrunchle (my new fave word) saltine crackers into the soup. That makes it really thick and yummy all over. OH, and hah! When I checked out of the grocery store on that same trip, I had picked up some unsalted Saltine crackers for this too (AFTER getting the split peas, thank you) and the checker picked them up and said, “Really? How can you call a Saltine a Saltine with no salt?” Well that gave me chuckle for the day, I hope it did for you too.

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