When life hands you ham hock, make split pea soup. What truly motivates me was the memory of my moms split pea and ham hock soup – I can taste it as I write. The melencoly thoughts of missing my mom soften when I bring her culinary soul back into the kitchen.
What you will need:
2 cups dried split peas
*approx 1/2 cup of carrots finely chopped
*approx 1/2 cup of celery finely chopped
1 cup of onion finley diced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/4 tsp of salt (I use sea salt)
1 tsp fresh Tyme chopped
2 tsp of minced garlic
1/8 to 1/4 tsp of chili flakes
1 ham hock
1 1/3 cups (approx) diced ham
7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth
What you will do:
In a large pot place the 7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth along with the peas.
Bring to a boil and the turn of and cover and let stand for 1 1/2 hours.
In another pot place your ham hock in and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil on medium high heat and then reduce to a simmer for approx 1 hour. Once it is done drain the water and put your ham hock aside.
In a deep pot start to melt the butter and then put in the onions and stir until they soften (approx 2 mins). Now add in the carrots and celery and sauté until softened (approx 3 more mins)
Now add in the salt, pepper and chili flakes as well as the diced ham and hock- stir occasionally while the ham starts to brown (deepens the flavor)
Now add in the peas separated from the liquid and stir. Then and in the liquid and stir. Bring the pot to a medium simmer and stir occasionally. You want the peas to get tender if not mushy. (One step if you like a smoother soup is the not put in the diced ham but add after you purée the soup)
You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding water or broth to the consitentcy that you like.
Remove the ham hock and bay leaf and top with your favorite adder (croutons, crackers, Parmigina)
Heartwarming, thanks mom for the inspiration.
“You gotta try this!”