What a difference a day makes! Yesterday was cold and rainy while today was 74 degrees and sunny. Since it was such a dreary day yesterday I made a batch of slow simmered split pea soup and a loaf of fresh baked bread (recipe to follow) along with my House salad. I was disappointed that the ham hock I used wasn’t very meaty so be sure to look at them carefully before buying them. Even though the soup didn’t have as much ham as we would have liked, it was still hearty and delicious.
Because peas are a natural product, they may sometimes have other stuff included. Pour the peas on a large plate and sift through them with your fingers to remove any foreign matter.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, & celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds before adding stock, split peas, ham hock, bay leaf and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cover and cook over low heat for at least 3-3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Slowly break up the ham from the bone a little every time you stir the soup then remove any fat or bone from the ham hock along the way.
Make sure all fat and bone have been remove from the soup. Taste and re-season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Remove the bay leaf and ladle into bowls. Serve with salad and bread if desired. Enjoy.