Hound Ham and Pea Soup

Makes 8 servings

I have ridden hunters and jumpers my whole life. Every Sunday in the fall, while riding in the ring and having my lesson, I would see the Bedford Hills Hunt Club—riders dressed to the nines, the horses beautifully groomed, and the dogs all running together. After the hunt, there was a huge brunch, and they served a great ham and pea soup. As a young teen, I would sneak into the club with my friends to join the meal. Here's my thank-you to the Bedford Hills Hunt Club: Hound Ham and Pea Soup. You can freeze this soup for 3 months or refrigerate it for 4 days.

1 ham bone or ham hock
2 quarts chicken stock or broth 1 cup split peas
8 Idaho potatoes, cubed
1 cup chopped cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup fresh peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or VA tablespoons parsley flakes
1 cup uncooked egg noodles

1. In a large stockpot, combine the ham bone or hock with the chicken stock, split peas, and potatoes. Simmer for
    about 1 hour, skimming fat off the surface as necessary.

2. Take out half of the soup and puree it in a food processor or blender. Return it to pot and stir well so that
    everything is blended. This makes the soup thick and creamy.

3. Add the chopped ham, celery, fresh peas, parsley, and noodles. Return to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or
    until the noodles are cooked through. Let cool, dispose of the cooked ham bone or hock (or store it with the
    soup in the refrigerator or freezer for flavor), and serve. Do not give your dog cooked bones.




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