Hearty Split Pea Soup

split pea

All that cold air coming down from Canada made me think that today would be a perfect day to share my pea soup recipe. It’s a thick hearty soup that will heat you up from the inside out. My favorite part of the cooking process is mincing up all the different veggies and creating a rich complex aroma as each one is added to the pot. I just love how it makes the whole house smell warm and inviting.

Whenever I make this soup it evokes some very special memories of my mother. She was the ultimate foodie and the first time I invited her over to try some she was a bit hesitant. She had never had pea soup before and it didn’t sound very appetizing to her so I just kept telling her to trust me and if she didn’t like the soup she could fill up on the corn bread that I made to go with it.  Three bowls of soup, 2 pieces of corn bread and a couple of beers later, she declared the meal a success. I hope you enjoy it as much as she did.

 

Serves 6-8

1 onion finely chopped
2 large carrots finely chopped
2 celery stalks finely chopped
2 bay leaves
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sage
2 or 3 meaty smoked ham hocks (can use Italian sausage or a ham bone as a substitute)
6 cups chicken stock or 1 bottle of dark beer and enough chicken stock to get to 6 cups liquid
1½ cups dried split peas rinsed
Several cloves minced garlic

Put everything in a big pot and simmer 3-4 hours until the peas are consistency of a puree. Remove the hocks from the pot. By now the meat should be ready to fall off the bone. Let them cool enough to de-bone and put the meat back in the soup and you’re ready to serve.

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