Monday, February 22, 2010

Family Recipes - Split Pea Soup

I love soup.
Pretty much any kind will do (except mushroom - I can't get into mushrooms).  I love how hearty and warming it is on a cold day and how you get everything you need in one bowl.  Also, as a mum soup goes a long way with my budget and also my time.  I can prepare everything in advance and get on with my day as the soup is cooking.  When it's time to eat, only a couple of last minute preparations are need to get dinner on the table - I love that!!
This is my grandmother's recipe for split pea soup.  It is beyond delicious and super easy to make.  Freeze those ham bones from Christmas or Easter and pull them out when you want a fantastic but easy dinner.

2 tblsp butter
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion coarsly chopped
1 1/2 cups split peas (I used green but yellow or orange would be great as well)
8 cups of liquid (water, vegetable or chicken stock)
1 ham hock
Rinse and pick over the peas discarding any misshapen ones and stones.
Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery and sautee until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the split peas, ham hock and liquid.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.
Remove the soup from heat. Remove the ham hock from soup but do not discard.  You want to let the ham cool until you can handle it.
Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, in batches) puree the soup until smooth.  Thin the soup with more stock or water if necessary and return to the stove to reheat to serving temperature.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.
While the soup is heating, remove the meat from the ham hock and cut into small pieces.  Add to the soup.
Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh bread or toasted croutons.
Serves 6.

  If by chance ham isn't your thing, try this great vegetarian version - it'll hit the spot!

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