1 piece (about 2½ pounds) smoked, bone-in picnic ham
4 bay leaves
1 pound (2½ cups) split peas
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
2 medium stalks celery, chopped medium
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 small new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small cubes
Ground black pepper
1. Place the ham, bay leaves, and 3 quarts water in a large stockpot. Cover and bring boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone, 2 to 2½ hours.
2. Remove the ham meat and bone from the pot. Set aside to cool.
3. Add the split peas and thyme to the ham stock. Bring to a boil again, then simmer (uncovered) until peas are tender (45 minutes)
4. While the peas are simmering, Saute onions, carrots, and celery in the oil (5 to 6 minutes).
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, garlic, and sugar to the sauted vegetables.
6. Continue to cook and stir frequently, until deeply browned (30 to 35 minutes); set aside.
7. Shred the meat off the ham into bite-sized pieces and add to pot with split peas. Discard the rind, fat, and bone.
8. Add the sauteed vegetables and potatoes to the pot with the split peas. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and peas dissolve and thicken to the consistency of light cream, about 20 minutes.
9. Season with ground black pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves. separately.
Recipe taken and very very very lightly adapted to add more potatoes, and make dairy free from Brown Eyed Baker