This is a traditional split pea soup made with a ham hock.
To make the soup, place a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat and add the oil. Finely chop the onion, celery and carrots and transfer each of them to the pot. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or so or until fragrant.
Next, add the peas, ham hock, stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring the soup just to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the peas start to break down. Stir occasionally.
At about the 2 hour mark, remove the ham hock and let cool for a few minutes. Then remove the fat and bone, and discard. Shred the ham meat into larger pieces and return to the soup.
Taste for seasoning, then serve with your favorite fresh bread and a side salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!
This is an very hearty and healthy soup. It takes very little time to put together and is perfect for a rainy day. This recipe does not require soaking the peas overnight but if you do it will decrease the cooking time by almost half. Try serving this with rustic french baguette and a side salad and it’s really all you need for lunch or dinner.
Ham hocks can be purchased at most specialty meat stores; however, you can also use finely-diced bacon to obtain a similar flavor, but it won’t be quite as good. Just be sure to sauté the bacon first and then drain most of the excess fat before adding the vegetables.
The benefit of using ham hock instead of bacon is not just for flavor. Ham bones provide gelatin that contribute body to the final consistency of the soup.