Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Split Pea Soup with Ham

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Before soup weather is officially gone (it seems like it already is in our neck of the woods-bring on Spring!!), I thought I would share the recipe for one of my favorite soups-Split Pea with Ham.   Split pea soup reminds me of my dad.  My mom was never really a soup person.  She was fine with it, but wasn’t as fond of it as I always was and never really choose to have it as a meal.  I remember my dad heating up cans of split pea soup to have for lunch.  If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have tried this variety. 

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While soup from a can is quick, and good in a pinch, homemade soups are almost always better.  This soup comes together quickly,  is creamy and hearty, and is a great way to warm up a chilly day. 

Plus it only contains 6 ingredients!

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You’re right…this picture only has 5 things in it.  I can’t get anything past you!   I forgot the cream (or you can use milk) for the picture, but just imagine it is there.  You’ll also need some water, oil, salt and pepper, but I don’t count those as ingredients, per se, because they are in almost everyone’s kitchen.

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A little chopping, a little sautéing and a little simmering and you wind up with this gorgeous, tasty green soup.

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Split Pea Soup with Ham

makes 8 servings


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz ham, diced
  • 1 lb dried green split peas
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream (or half and half or milk)
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the onion and carrot until just beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the ham and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Check your split peas and remove any debris or deformed peas.  Add the good peas to the pot.
  4. Stir in the vegetable broth and water.  Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.
  5. Simmer soup for 45 minutes, or until peas are soft and soup has thickened.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in your cream (or milk).  Use more for a creamier, richer soup.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

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New England Clam Chowder

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I’m a soup girl.  I don’t know if I’ve ever met a soup that I didn’t like.  Canned, homemade, it doesn’t matter.  I really enjoy soup during the chilly winter months, but I don’t discriminate during the summer.  Soup is filling, warming, and delicious.  It really makes the perfect meal.

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I have to tell you, I really like creamy soups.  They are by far the least healthy kind, but some of the tastiest.  I would pick New England clam chowder over Manhattan any day.  Cream of crab over Maryland crab.  Cream of Tomato over regular tomato…you get where I’m going.

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New England Clam Chowder

makes 10 servings


  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into a 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cans of diced clams, with juice
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 4 cups seafood (or vegetable) stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Put peeled and chopped potatoes into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring half way through.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a stock pot.  Add microwaved potatoes and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add thyme sprigs and stir.  You can remove the leaves from the stems, but they will fall off during cooking and you can remove the sprigs later.
  4. Add the canned clams and their juice, the bottled clam juice and the seafood (or vegetable) stock to the pot.  Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer soup for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the milk and flour.  Mix well.  Add milk mixture to the soup, and stir well.
  6. Turn off heat and add cream.  Stir well and serve!

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Clearly, this was terrible.

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Crockpot Classic Turkey Chili

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As far as winters go, this one has been very mild!  I would say the average temps have been in the 40s, and we’ve only had a couple spurts of snow that were all 1 inch or less.  The largest total snow accumulation we’ve had was in October (a very early time for snow in our area).

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We aren’t quite out of the woods for winter weather, but I’m hoping that spring is on its way sooner rather than later.   Although most days have been on the warmer side, we have had our share of cold, windy days.  And on those days, the best cure I know is a steaming bowl of chili.

There is always a debate on the contents of chili.  Does it have beans, meat or both?  I am on Team Chili Bean.  It is the way my mom always made it.  I remember smelling it simmering on the stove for hours, perfuming the whole house with its spicy aroma.  And it was always served with cheese and sour cream, and crusty bread for dipping.  The perfect way to warm up on the coldest of winter days.

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For this version, I utilized one of my favorite kitchen gadgets-the Crockpot!  With my long daily commute, I have really come to appreciate the convenience of having dinner done when I get home.  I get to relax and unwind instead of worrying about getting dinner on the table.  Just throw the ingredients in the pot in the morning, set it to low and let it cook all day.  Or, if you prefer, you can certainly simmer this on the stove top for a couple hours instead of using a slowcooker.

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Crockpot Classic Turkey Chili

makes 8 servings


  • 1 lb ground turkey, browned on the stove top
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped in a medium dice
  • 1 large onion, chopped in a medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped green onions
  • sour cream


  1. Add all ingredients through cayenne pepper to slow cooker.  Mix to combine.
  2. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  3. Serve with cheese, green onions and sour cream.

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