Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
SERVES 10 TO 12
Take an almost bare ham bone and make a delicious pea soup. The idea seemed so impossible to me when I was a child, but my mother had a way of making everything stretch, even a bone could be turned into a meal. For starters, you need a meaty ham bone. So the next time you buy a ham on the bone, save the bones, or freeze them and when you have enough, make this wonderful thick soup.
1 pound split peas, washed and sorted
3 quarts water
1 large ham bone
4 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups sliced carrots
3 cups finely chopped celery
In a deep pot, combine the peas, water, ham bone, onion, bouillon, and the seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the ham bone and trim off all the meat; chop it finely and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the carrots and celery and simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 hours or until the soup is thick.
Serve hot with crusty bread.
Note: Dried oregano may be used when fresh is not available.