My frugal Mom would cut every bit of usable meat off the bone and then use the bone to make the broth for the soup. Sometimes, she’d freeze the bone if there was a reason she could not use it right away. But she never threw it out without getting another meal out of it.
I’ve continued that tradition. We don’t eat ham a lot in our family, or much of any meat at all for that matter, but whenever I do buy one, I make sure to put split pea soup on the menu.
Other options for using leftover ham or a ham bone are things like Dirty Rice or Lentil Soup.
But this soup is also excellent as a vegetarian option, which is actually the way we eat it most of the time now. We may have started eating vegetarian meals for budget reasons as a struggling young couple years ago, but we now try to minimize our meat intake primarily for health, environmental, and ethical reasons.
So we focus on getting our needed protein from plant-based sources, such as legumes, like split peas, instead of animal-based ones.
That approach has paid big dividends to us in terms of our excellent physical health and well-being - a case once again of a frugal lifestyle providing benefits beyond the pocketbook.