Split Pea & Ham Soup

DSC_1620 copyright

So it’s winter here and I’m going to post another soup recipe because I can.  Even though it doesn’t feel like winter.  Or look like winter.  And even though we’re still going outdoors to enjoy the sunshine without so much as a jacket, my brain tells me it’s winter so I’m making soup.  I figure I have about two more good soup-months before it’s too warm to even consider the hot dinner until next November.

To date, except for The Exorcist, I have had zero experience with split pea soup.  So I was excited when I saw that Our Best Bites offered a recipe that would allow me to not only use up our last bit of Christmas ham (it’s been waiting in our freezer), but would also give me a taste of the soup that was featured in one of the most disturbing movies of all time.  What’s not to love?!


  • 1 lb. dried split peas, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. bone-in ham, diced into small pieces and trimmed of excessive fat (or that last bit of leftover ham, cut into bits)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon malt vinegar


  1. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. You can also cook it on high until it starts to boil and then turn the setting on low until you’re ready to serve the soup. Top with croutons.

Makes 8 1 1/2-cup servings.


Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup
First of all, I feel compelled to say how much I hate taking these pictures in the winter.  Dinner is never ready before night fall and therefore I’m forced to use my flash which I despise!  But whatever, this one didn’t turn out too awful and the colors are fairly accurate.

Source: Closet Cooking

I pureed this to baby food consistency for a few reasons.  If I can keep the kids from guessing what’s in some recipes they are more inclined to try them and my oldest daughter hates cooked tomatoes.  Since cooked tomatoes are the only food she won’t eat, I like to humor her by sneaking crushed, or pureed, tomatoes in her food.

I wanted to keep this vegetarian and up until the end, I did.  It would make an excellent, filling dinner all on it’s own.  My brain tells me, however, that when we have soup we must also partake in bread.  Since I didn’t have any rolls on hand I decided to use up the rest of the thick sliced ham I’d bought for egg and ham muffins at breakfast time.  I just diced them into squares and tossed them in during the last 10 minutes of cook time.  No more vegetarian.  Oh well!  Despite a relatively basic ingredient list, this soup was full of robust flavor!


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 14 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz can tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped (optional, but I ran out the day before and was too lazy to hit the store for one thing)
  • 1 handful toasted pumpkin seeds (optional, but I didn’t do this, since I figured my kids would just pull them out and make a mess)
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Meanwhile, place garlic, cumin, chili powder & tomatoes in food processor then puree to desired consistency.
3.  Pour pureed mixture in with the sautéed onions and mix over medium-low heat.
4.  Add pumpkin and black beans to food processor and puree to desired consistency add to the warming pan, & add the sherry and broth.
6.  Bring just to boiling then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
7. Serve garnished with cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds if desired.
With the five of us (one being a small portioned five year old) we each had a big bowl with enough left over for two more large portions.  If you plan on serving company or have a larger family (or teens in the house) you may want to double this.

Ham, Pineapple, and Provolone Stromboli

Ham & Provolone Stromboli

1/2 lb. thin sliced black forest ham
1 large can pineapple tidbits–drained
8-10 slices of provolone cheese
honey mustard sauce or dressing (i use ken’s honey mustard dressing)
1 egg–slightly beaten, then add 2 tsp. water–makes an egg wash

pizza dough (or buy a premade pizza crust dough):
2 1/4 tsp. (one packet) yeast
1 T sugar
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp. salt
1 T oil
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in kitchen aid mixing bowl. add salt, oil, and flour. mix on speed 2 until dough gathers into a ball.

2. place ball of dough in greased bowl. cover and let rise in a warm place (oven with light on) until doubled (about 1 hour).

3. remove from oven and turn out onto a floured surface. flour the top of the dough and roll out into a large rectangle.
**preheat oven to 400**

4. top with ham (leaving about 1-1 1/2 in. from edge clear), drizzle with honey mustard (as desired), lay out provolone slices, and then sprinkle pineapples on top.

5. brush the inch or so ring of untopped crust with egg wash (this will act as a glue), and begin rolling up your stromboli…(using my picture as a reference i would roll from the top/back to the bottom/front)…making a LONG stromboli (NOT the width). hope that makes sense!

6. brush top of stromboli with remaining egg wash and cover loosely with a lightly greased piece of foil.

7. bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then remove foil. continue baking 10-20 more minutes until crust is golden brown. let cool for 5 minutes, then slice and ENJOY!

Ham & Pasta Skillet Dinner

Ham & Pasta Skillet Dinner
Taken from My Kitchen Cafe, with a few minor changes, this recipe was a colorful way to finish off the second freezer bag of leftover Christmas ham!
1 12 oz Wacky Mac pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
3 cups fully cooked ham, diced
1 large sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions – only cooking until al dente since pasta will continue to cook and soak up liquid when added to the skillet. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted.
Add pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-6 minutes. Add ham, basil, parsley and oregano and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth (or stock) and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir drained pasta into ham and vegetable mixture. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and toss. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately.

Ham and Potato Soup

Ham and Potato Soup
I had two Ziploc bags in the freezer FULL of leftover ham from Christmas.  I had no idea what to use it for but hated to waste it.  After doing a little hunting on the Internet I managed to take from a few different recipes and throw this together.  Really simple, really fast & smells yummy all day!


  • 3 cups cooked ham, cut to bite-sized
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots (or a handful of baby carrots), chopped
  • 5 potatoes, cut into bite-sized (I used Yukon Gold)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans creamed corn – splurge a little and get the ‘good’ brand
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • pepper

  • Directions 

    Place all ingredients in crock pot. Add pepper to taste.  I opted not to add salt because the ham offers so much!  Cook on low for 8 hours.  
    If a thicker soup is desired, add cornstarch (dissolve starch in water before adding to soup to eliminate lumping).

    Ham N Onion Wraps

    Ham N Onion Wraps
    During the holidays this is a favorite staple at our house!
    1 package of deli sliced ham – doesn’t need to be fancy!
    1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
    several bunches green onions; washed, skinned and a few inches cut off the green end – also off the root end
    Depending on the size of the ham, I recommend cutting each slice in half so you don’t wind up with a mouth full of ham with every bite.  Spread cream cheese over one side.
    Ham N Onion Wraps
    Place white end of onion on the ham and roll up.
    That’s it.
    These will produce what is commonly referred to as DRAGON BREATH!