It’s a cold windy week here in Southern California, and we’re finally starting to feel the changing seasons (boo hoo – I know). The days are shorter, the air is crisp and chilly, and it’s the perfect time to curl up with a blanket and a hearty bowl of soup. Split pea soup is the epitome of comfort food for me. It’s a humble but lovely dish made of dried peas and smoked meat that’s warm and satisfying. It tastes even better the second day so I love to make a great big pot and enjoy it for a few cozy evenings in a row.
- 16 oz. dried split peas
- 2 smoked ham hocks or 1 smoked turkey leg
- 1/2 brown onion (diced)
- 1 and 1/2 cup carrot / about 3 large (peeled and diced)
- 3 ribs celery (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bouquet garni of whatever herbs suit your fancy. I used rosemary, thyme, and oregano
- 2 and 1/2 quart water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse and drain peas
- Heat a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to medium heat on your stove top
- Add onion, celery, and carrots to pot with a small amount of oil
- Saute for 3-5 minutes or until onions are translucent
- Add garlic and cook one additional minute
- Add 2 and 1/2 quarts water
- Bring to a boil and add remaining ingredients
- Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Partially cover pot allowing steam to escape
- Simmer soup until pork and vegetables are tender peas are falling apart, stirring often, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Remove bouquet garni and pork hocks
- Blend soup to desired consistency by pulsing an immersion blender, or by transferring to a blender and pureeing 2 cups at a time.
- Remove meat from bones, coarse chop and return to soup
- As an option – simmer for an additional 20 minutes to thicken soup
- Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving