Split Pea Soup
What the heck is a hock?
I think it's like an ankle. Like a pig's ankle.
It sounds like an expression of disbelief.
In a pig's ankle!
There are pig's ankles in this. But only at the beginning. Don't be scared.
Pea soup! Not too exciting, but fills you up and keeps you warm.
January, that's all I'm asking.
Split Pea Soup (from Simply Recipes)
1 lb (2 1/4 cups) green split peas
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, halved
1 herb bouquet*
2 well-rinsed ham hocks (oh no!)
Salt and Pepper
Optional garnish - small toasted croutons, chopped parsley or chives
*Herb Bouquet: Tie 3 cloves garlic, 4 allspice berries, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme, 8 sprigs parsley in rinsed cheesecloth or place in bouquet garni muslin bag.
Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas. Place in a 4 quart pan with the vegetables, herb bouquet, ham hocks and 2 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top of the soup for several minutes, until the scum ceases to rise. Cover loosely and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally in case they stick to the bottom of the pan.
Remove the ham hocks and herb bouquet from the soup. Purée the soup with a blender. An immersion blender works great for this; if you are using a regular blender, take care to workin batches and only fill the blender halfway if the soup is still hot, and hold down the lid while blending. If you want an exceptionally smooth soup, pass the purée through a sieve.
Return the purée to the pot and heat to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.