Member Spotlight: The Abells

Ham + Pea Soup a la Abell

Jim and Chris Abell live in Harbor Springs, and they love to make winter soups. Their favorite winter soup involves many winter ingredients from our farm.


bacon fat for sauteing 

5 or 6 green onions

3 or 4 leeks 

3 quarts water

a ham hock

3/4 cup dried split peas

3 or 4 potatoes, diced

lots of peppercorns (40-50, it is a winter warming soup!)

salt to taste


Cook the whites of the green onions and leeks in bacon fat until they're soft. Add water and a thawed ham hock and simmer until the hock is tender, for several hours. Remove the bone and fat and most of the meat, which you can save for pork tacos later.   

Add the split peas and diced potatoes, and simmer them until done.  Blend or mill the soup to whatever texture you like. For texture, Chris recommends separating out some of the potatoes and liquid, and blending the rest. She also likes biting into the whole peppercorns, but if you'd like to avoid that you can tie the peppercorns into a square of cheesecloth or use a ball-shaped tea strainer to be pulled out when the soup is done.

Now all that's left is to salt and serve. 

Mary BrowerComment