Family Favorite Recipe – Smoked Ham & Split Pea Soup

Here is the first of the series of our Family Favorite Recipes brought over from our previous location. If you haven’t tried it I suggest you do this winter. This is a great way to get warm and fill your tummy with warm deliciousness. Enjoy!

It’s getting cold over here; well, at least wet. It has been raining all day today – and night for that matter! It has left me with the desire to stay in my pajamas and sip hot coffee all day. Why fight it, right? This desire to stay in and be cozy has led me to crave my delicious Smoked Ham Split Pea Soup. Mind you, it’s not just my favorite, but my husband’s and my kids’ too. The kids always ask for second servings of this yummy soup.

Now if you were to ask my opinion, I think that the smoked ham hock from Oliver’s is what makes this soup. Why? Because they sell the leg with lots of mouth watering meat on it. The other secret is using Applewood bacon. So here is the recipe from my kitchen to yours. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Ingredients:

1 lb. split peas
5 pieces applewood bacon
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, rough chopped
1 celery stalk, rough chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 spring of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 large potato, roughly diced
1 smoked ham hock
2 quarts cold water
salt and pepper to taste

Let’s begin with a Cast iron french oven. On medium heat cook the bacon until all 5 pieces of bacon are crisp. Remove bacon from pan and put on paper towels to absorb excess grease, chop once bacon is cool. Then pour out all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Add your chopped onions and sprinkle some salt and pepper to begin flavoring your soup, and cook until just translucent, then add carrots, celery, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 4 minutes, then add minced garlic. Cook one more minute then add potato, smoked ham hock, chopped bacon and 2 quarts of water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
Once cooked, remove thyme and bay leaves. Carefully process the soup in a blender or food processor or a hand held blender (love these) until smooth. If using a blender or food processor, you will need a large bowl to pour your blended contents into until all is blended; then you can pour it all back into your pan. Once soup is smooth, return to low heat and salt and pepper as needed.

Now you are ready to serve! You can serve this dish with biscuits or your favorite rustic bread!

Enjoy!
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