Spring is here but I don’t think that Mother Nature has gotten the memo. We are having a little burst of cold right now – which really makes me glad I did not fully put away all my warm clothes. It’s spring and I have rushed head first into eating more spring type meals. I have begun eating lighter meals and more fruit lately. Artichokes have been my best friend these past few weeks. I can’t get enough. I love them just simply cooked and served with a lemon aioli. Light, tangy, sweet perfection on a warm night.
But now it is cold and I don’t crave artichokes. Not at all. I crave soup. I want comfort….and I want it today.
Welcome pea soup. Hearty soup. Warm soup. Salty and smoky soup. Perfect.
This soup gets its smoky flavor from a ham hock. A ham hock is a cut of pork not typically reserved for eating as part of a meal. Ham hock’s can come smoked and when added to soups and vegetable based dishes they pack a punch of flavor. That flavor is smoky and salty and full of depth. Usually after cooking you can remove a bit of the meat from the ham hock and add it to the meal. An added bonus if you ask me. I like to have extra ham available to either add into the soup or sprinkle on top.
I can’t wait for the warm weather to come my way….but in the meantime I have wonderful soup to make me feel good. Yum!
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. carrot, diced
- 1 c. celery diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 c. split green peas, cleaned and picked through
- 1 ham hock
- 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 c. cooked ham, diced
- Water available if needed
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the vegetable oil.
- Add the chopped onion and saute 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute 1 more minute.
- Add the carrot and celery and saute 2 minutes.
- Add the bay leaf, chicken broth, split peas and ham hock and stir well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lightly place cover over the top of pot and reduce heat and simmer.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes, depending on the consistency you like. Add more water if needed.
- Remove ham hock. Chop any meat you want from ham hock.
- Remove bay leaf
- Stir to mash peas into soup.
- Add ham back to soup, stir to warm and serve.
Taste before you add the salt. The ham hock and chicken broth add salt to the soup.