Sopa de Chicharos is hearty, thick Cuban split pea soup made from scratch in one pot loaded with smoked ham, squash, and potatoes. Easy-to-make, flavorful, and a nourishing meal for just about any day of the week. Serve with white rice, crusty bread, or enjoy on its own.
1cupcalabaza squashor butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
1largeRusset potatopeeled and cubed
Lay the split peas on a clean work surface and remove any stones and/or discolored / broken peas. Wash and rinse them until the water runs clear. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil at medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add cumin, oregano, and salt + pepper to taste. Simmer for another 4-5 minutes.
Now, add the ham hock, split peas, chicken stock, water, wine, and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, adding 1/4 cup of water at a time to prevent the soup from drying out.
Remove the ham and trim off the meat from the bone. Discard the bone and excess fat. Stir the chopped ham into the pot.
Add the squash and potato. Continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 25-30 minutes or until the squash and potatoes are fork tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove bay leaf. The soup will thicken as it cools. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir in 1/4 cup of water to thin it out. Serve the soup by itself or with a side of white rice. Enjoy!