This ham split pea soup recipe is so nourishing and satisfying. I credit that the pig was from a local organic farm close to where I live here in the Yukon.
I purchase a full pig each year from the Aurora Mountain Farm. I like knowing that I am eating local, supporting a local business and encouraging organic farming. I like that I know what the animals are eating and how they are being treated and raised. I know that they are appreciated for the sustenance that they eventually bring us.
After the pig goes to a local butcher, I have bacon and ham made – there are a couple of butcher shops in town that will make them without nitrates or sugar, if you ask.
After roasting the ham and enjoying it as a separate meal, I take the ham bone and little bits of leftover meat and make 12–24 hour bone broth in the slow cooker. This is an amazing way to pull out the gelatin and amino acids from the bones into the bone broth to make it super satisfying and rich.
Then to make this ham split pea soup recipe, I use both the bone broth from the ham bone as well as the leftover meat to make this delicious and creamy soup.
I also make sure to keep the organs and fat trimmings from the whole pig each year so that I can make homemade pork lard, which is absolutely fantastic for high-temperature cooking and deep frying. I haven’t gotten super adventurous with the organ meats yet, but I hope to get there in time.
It really feels good to know that you are respecting, using and being nourished by the whole animal as opposed to only eating the muscle meat and nothing else.
On that note, I want to share more of the benefits of nose to tail eating with you.
Benefits of nose to tail eating
Most people understand that meat is an integral part of the paleo diet but many people who go paleo make the mistake of eating too much meat – especially because they only eat what we call ‘muscle meat.’
When you only eat muscle meat – chicken breast, pork chop, steak – you ignore all the other great parts of the animal, including:
- Tendons and cartilage
- Bone and bone marrow
- Organ meats
- Fattier cuts and fats, like lard and tallow
The famed Canadian dentist Weston A. Price is known for the connections he made between nutrition and our physical and dental health. He studied how the food habits of hunter-gatherer societies helped keep them healthy. What he found across most tribes was that no part of the animal was wasted and their diet included a lot of bone broth and organ meat.
This idea, now referred to as ‘eating nose to tail,’ gives our bodies more nutrition than only eating muscle meat. What’s more, when eaten together, different parts of the animal help our bodies make the most of what we are digesting. For example, the vitamins, nutrients and amino acids from organ meats, tissue and bone broth are required to metabolize the rich amino acids in lean meats. Also, using animal fat when cooking helps our bodies absorb many vitamins like A, D, E and K.
Then, there’s bone broth – the closest thing to magic we can eat. Bone broth is chalk full of goodness including nearly 20 different amino acids, more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, and collagen – which builds our tissues like ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin and even bone!
Bone broth is the foundation of truth behind why we bring chicken soup to our sick loved ones. Bone broth is healing. It contains nutritious compounds we are unable to digest in any other single meal. Eating bone broth is good for our whole bodies, from our brains to our guts, our bones, joints and skin, and even our cardiovascular system.
The evidence is clear: we get head-to-toe benefits from nose to tail eating!
Notes about this ham split pea soup recipe:
This ham split pea soup recipe is gluten-free, dairy free, soy free and could be made vegan without the ham/bone broth. Bonus: it’s super easy to make. It does take a bit longer to cook though, especially if you want the peas to get nice and soft.
If you can, I would recommend doing this one on a slow and low simmer for a few hours for maximum awesomeness!
By the way, those biscuits you see on the side? Those are totes paleo and the recipe is from My Natural Family. I’ve been making them for years and they are on point. I reduce the amount of baking soda/powder though as I find it a bit too strong.
Ham split pea soup recipe
- 2 lb Smoked ham Perfect for leftover ham!
- 2 L Ham bone broth Or broth of choice
- 1 lb Split peas
- 3 Celery stalks
- 3 Carrots
- 6 Bay leaves
- 1.5 tsp Thyme
- 1/2 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- Put the broth, seasonings, split peas and chopped up carrots and celery into a pot and bring to a boil.
- Once it’s boiling, turn it down to a simmer and cover.
- Check and stir every 10 minutes or so.
- Once it’s starting to get soft, add the chopped up ham into the soup and cook for another half hour or so to really get the flavors mingling.
Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. Tara helps people clear up cystic acne, balance hormones and blood sugar + improve anxiety and gut health NATURALLY with food.