It’s January and that means two things:
1) It’s time to get back on track at the gym and in the kitchen.
2) It’s the season for soup!
I’ll be honest, I didn’t fall in love with split pea soup until probably two years ago. Previously, I considered it two ingredients off gruel, and the color!! No thanks. Then one day I tried it and, hold on, it’s so good. “Do people know this?” I thought to myself, sitting on a curb at Pike Place Market, watching people and enjoying my lunch. Then the next questions inevitably walked through my brain, “I wonder how easy this is to make?”
The answer: Very, and it takes less then an hour. Hello weeknight meal!
Foodie Note: I highly suggest making a batch of your own stock for situations such as homemade soup. It’s incredibly easy and a great way to utilize the odds and ends from other recipes (kale stems, herbs, onions, roasted bones). Bonus: You control the salt. Ham hocks can be found pre-smoked in the meat department. Ask the butcher if you don’t see them in the refrigerated case.
I snagged the foundation for this recipe from 101 Cookbooks.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large white onions, chopped
2 cups dried split peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 smoked ham hock
1) Add olive oil to a large soup pot and warm it to medium heat. Add onions and salt, sweating and softening the onions for about 8 minutes.
2) Add the split peas, broth, pepper and ham hock; stir peas to cover with liquid. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
3) Remove ham hock to a cutting board and let cool. Meanwhile, stir soup, mashing some of the peas with the back of a spoon.
4) Once ham hock is cool enough to touch, trim the meat form the bone and chop. Discard any knobs of fat. Stir meat into the soup, season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve.