Sunday, December 30, 2012

Split Pea Soup

Is anyone else out there superstitious... or is it just me? I mean, I don't go around avoiding ladders or umbrellas, but I'll participate if it brings me good luck (and possibly freak out if a mirror breaks). Why not... riight? Growing up, my mom always made black eyed peas or split pea soup for New Years. It is supposed to bring good luck for the year to come. Good deal, considering split pea soup is one of my fav's. I was reading somewhere that it is a German tradition that started because the green split peas resemble money. The best part comes next. As the split peas cook they swell and... drum roll please ... represent your overflowing fortune. Who couldn't use that kind of luck???
I know that the green color of this soup can be.... off putting, but it is so full of flavor. Its comfort food for me. I think of cold nights, family, and Dr. Seuss. I dunno... gotta be the green. In all seriousness, this soup is out of this world. It is creamy and rich, but the ham can be taken out and the soup is still full of flavor. Best of all... the ingredient list is short. Delicious? CHECK! Simple? CHECK! Best left overs ever? DOUBLE CHECK! What are you waiting for? Go get lucky tonight with this soup!!!

Split Pea Soup with Ham

This recipe was adapted from Simply Recipes

Yield: 6 servings
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 2 1/4 cups green split peas
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 8 sprigs parsley
  • 2 rinsed ham hocks (I used smoked ham hocks but for vegetarian, no ham is just as yummy!!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 slices Italian or French bread
  • 2 Tbsp butter
Rinse the peas and watch carefully for any stones. Place the peas, celery, leek, carrot, and one clove of garlic (split in half) in a large pot. Take the rest of the garlic, allspice, bay leaves, thyme, crushed red pepper, and parsley and tie them up in some cheesecloth. Add the ham hocks and 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water.
Bring the mixture to a simmer skimming the scum that floats to the top. It will take about 7 minutes to skim all the scum. Cover the soup so that the lid is slightly cracked open and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the peas are tender. Stir occasionally so the peas do not stick to the bottom.
Remove the ham hocks and the cheesecloth bundle from the pot. With an immersion blender puree the soup. If you are using a regular blender make sure to do it in batches and holding the lid down tight. The soup is going to be hot! Pour the pureed mixture back into the pot. I did not but if you re-add the ham...Grab the ham hocks. Cut the skin off and then the meat off the bones. Dice into pieces. Throw these into the the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup warms heat up 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. When hot, add the diced bread. When one side is golden brown flip to the other. If you need more butter, add it.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the croutons, Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley.

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  1. I didn't know until this year that black eyed peas were supposed to be good luck. I love split pea soup and I could easily make this a yearly tradition for New Years. Looks delicious!

  2. I love split pea soup! Even if it's the ugliest most un-photgenic soup in the world. It's my all time favorite! Thanks for reminding me to whip up a batch!

  3. I love split pea soup but haven't been adventurous enough to make it myself yet! Seems like a good fool-proof recipe though so I may have to try it.
    Allie at Urban Feast