Hearty Ham and Split Pea Soup with Potatoes
Why This Recipe Works
After much testing we discovered that ham was indeed necessary for the best split pea soup recipe; broths made without ham tasted weak and those made with ham substitutions tasted processed. A ham bone was key to flavorful broth, and the tender pieces of ham that fell away from the bone during cooking were essential to the soup. But you don't have to buy a huge half ham for our split pea soup recipe; we found that a small, inexpensive picnic ham worked just fine. As for the vegetables, we found that while there's no need to soak the peas, but the other, fresh vegetables benefit from a deep caramelization on the stovetop.