Raúl Musibay: This is the Cuban version of a soup that is popular all over the United States.
Glenn Lindgren: We're not sure exactly who had this soup first, but the Cuban version is very distinctive.
Jorge Castillo:The secret ingredient? Calabaza.
Glenn Lindgren: Jorge's grandma used chunks of real calabaza. If you can't find calabaza in your area, you can use butternut squash instead.
A distinctive Cuban version of split pea soup.
INGREDIENTS:1 pound dried split peas
Sauté the onion and green pepper, with a little olive oil in a sauté pan. Add garlic and flour, sauté for another minute or two stirring constantly.
Place the ham bone in a large eight-quart stockpot. Add peas, onion/pepper/garlic mixture, water, chicken broth and wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, until the peas are very tender and the ham is starting to fall off of the bone -- approximately two hours. Remove the ham bone; trim all usable meat from the bone, cut into bite-size chunks and set aside. (Discard bone, excess fat, and gristle.)
Add the calabaza to the pot and continue cooking until the calabaza is soft, approximately 25 minutes. Place the cooked soup in a blender or food processor and puree -- do this in smaller batches and be careful, the soup is hot!
Return puree to the pot and add the ham chunks, Accent, cumin, and butter. Simmer an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If the mixture is too thin for your taste, you can tighten it up with a little corn starch dissolved in water.
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