The dramatic turn from Fall to Winter weather had me thinking about warm soups all this week. As convenient as canned soup is, making your own is super easy as well and a great indoor activity on these cold and blustery days. One of my favorite soups is the good, old NY deli staple Split Pea. Most of the time ham or pork hock is used in the recipe to give the dish its classic salty and smoky flavor, but you can easily leave it out and still have a very tasty and hearty meal.
Here’s my take on a classic recipe from Better Homes and Gardens‘ New Cook Book. I like my split pea soup very thick, almost to the consistency of mushy peas, so if that’s not your style you should add approximately 1/4 cup more water and 2oz more chicken broth. Enjoy!
Split Pea Soup
(prep time: 20 mins; cooking time; approx 80 mins; serves 4)
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups dry split peas, rinsed and drained
12 oz. chicken broth
1 lb meaty ham bone or smoked pork hocks
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 tsp dried marjoram, crushed
Dash of black pepper
In a large saucepan combine water, split peas, chicken broth, ham/pork hocks, marjoram, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove ham/pork hocks. When cooled cut meat off the bone, coarsely chop, discard bone and return meat to saucepan. Stir in carrot, celery and onion and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat, cover and then simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tendered and soup is at your desired consistency. FYI: Be sure to discard bay leaf before serving. I definitely have forgotten that more than once. Oops!
I just made this a couple of days ago; Except in the summer months I make it every couple of weeks or so. My “standard” recipe uses rosemary, but I will try marjoram next time just to see what it’s like. I saw another recipe that called for paprika, but it was a meatless recipe so it needed extra flavor.
Rosemary huh? I like the sound of that. I’ll try that out next time.