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Photo: FoodNetwork.com

Split Pea Soup's recipe is all about going back to the old fashioned basics and that’s what really makes it so good. There’s just something about the classic staple recipes like this that is just so satisfying. It’s the food that reminds us of being back home that will follow us through life, those foods almost as if wishing us well through good memories. When I was younger and getting over a bad cold or something it was often split pea soup I asked mom to make for me. It’s just a true comfort food staple, according to Cookingclassy.

What is Split Pea Soup?

Pea soup or split pea soup is soup made typically from dried peas, such as the split pea. It is, with variations, a part of the cuisine of many cultures. It is most often greyish-green or yellow in color depending on the regional variety of peas used; all are cultivars of Pisum sativum.

Split Pea Soup's Ingredients

  • Olive oil – this is used to saute the vegetables, butter can be substituted.
  • Yellow onion, celery, carrots and garlic – these vegetables built up the background flavors of the soup. They add some nice color too.
  • Chicken broth and water – I like to use half chicken broth and half water (vs. all broth) so it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the peas.
  • Dried split peas – it’s a common misconception to believe split peas need to be soaked before cooking, no soaking is necessary. But you do want to pick over (check for pebbles and debris) and rinse and drain them.
  • Bay leaves, thyme and parsley – fresh or dry herbs work well here.
  • Salt and pepper – I like to wait to add majority of salt until the ham has cooked with the soup, some hams tend to be very salty while others not as much so if you wait you won’t over-salt the soup.
  • Ham bone – this soup is such a great use for a leftover meaty ham bone from a Sunday ham roast or even a spiral sliced holiday ham. If you don’t have one ham shanks will work too.

Split Pea Soup's Instruction

1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add ham hock and cook, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove ham hock from pot and add remaining oil.

2. Add onions, leeks, and shallots to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 6 minutes more. Add split peas, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves, and seared ham hock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until peas are tender, about 1 hour. (If the soup gets too thick, add water 1/2 cup at a time until desired thickness is reached.)

3. When peas are tender, remove bay leaf, thyme, and ham hock. Remove any meat from ham hock and shred. Use an immersion blender or countertop blender to purée roughly 1/4 of the soup. Return puréed soup to pot along with the shredded ham hock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Served topped with more fresh thyme and another crack of black pepper, and finally, enjoy it with your family!, Delish indicated.

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Photo: DailyExpress.com

Expert Tips

- Serve a grainy cornbread (don’t forget the honey butter or drizzle of maple syrup) and a spinach salad with fresh grapefruit segments with the soup. The tart freshness of the citrus contrasts nicely with the rich, thick soup.

- Preparing split peas for cooking is easy! Just pick over the dried split peas and discard any grit or discolored peas. Place the split peas in a bowl, and cover them with water. After a minute or two, remove any skins or split peas that float to the top. Finally, rinse the split peas in a colander.

- A ham hock or bone pairs perfectly with split peas but so will a smoked turkey leg. Its smokiness seasons the soup as well as ham. Remove meat from bone, chop into smaller pieces and stir into soup with the carrots; continue as directed in recipe, Bettycrocker suggested.

If you find the abovementioned information effective and useful, don't hesitate to share it widely, thank you in advance!

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