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Split Pea Soup

We have so few days of cold weather here in the Desert Southwest. When a cold snap hits, there is nothing better than a nice thick soup. We end up only making split pea once or twice a year so we do find it a treat. We freeze our leftover ham on New Year's Day specifically to add to an upcoming batch of this soup. Served with cornbread it really is a filling and delicious dinner. We prefer a chunkier soup but it is easily thinned and/or stirred to a smoother consistency.

INGREDIENTS 16 oz split peas 4 c smoked broth 2+ c chicken broth (additional to thin if needed) 1/2 onions, sliced 2 c carrots, chopped 1 T neutral oil 1 c chopped ham 2 t herbs de Provence salt and pepper to taste 8 oz pancetta

DIRECTIONS 1. Soak split peas for 6 hours, changing water every two hours. 2. Add oil to Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are browned. Add peas, smoked broth and 2 c regular broth. Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer 3. Add onions, carrots, herbs de Provence, ham, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. 10 minutes before soup is done, cook pancetta in cast iron skillet until crisp. 5. Remove lid and stir to smooth out. You can add more broth at this point if you would like your soup to be thinner. Top with pancetta and enjoy.

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