Split Pea Soup with Ham

Soups always get me going. It’s somewhat hard to get the perfect medley of flavor and really the smallest thing can either make or break them. At least that’s how I view them. A lot of people look at soups like crock pot meals, just throw it in there and cook it. I think it’s more delicate than that.

This was my first time in a LONG time making split pea soup and did take a bit of tweaking but I think I ended up with a pretty darn good soup if I don’t say so myself.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 packs split peas

1 good size ham hock

3 stalks celery

handful of  baby carrots or about 2 regular ones chopped

salt and pepper to taste

about 4 cloves garlic through a press or minced finely

1 large yellow onion

1-2 tbls butter

about 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

about 2 cups water

About 3 quarts chicken broth preferably homemade

Sour cream for topping

about 1/4- 1/2 cup cooking sherry

1/4 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar

about 1/2 cup red wine to taste

Chopped Fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano leaves only about 1 tbs. each

2 bay leaves

I know, it sounds like a lot of ingredients but it’s worth it. You could probably omit the cooking sherry but I had some and put it in and it added to the flavor.

First, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic and saute gently a few mins. until the onion is just translucent. Then add the ham hock and brown on all sides.

Next you can add the stock, split peas and all other ingredients but the wine, cooking sherry and the heavy cream. Simmer for about 45 mins. stirring occasionally.

Then take out the ham hock and cut off the thick skin and the fat and cut up the remaining ham. But the cut up ham back in the soup with the bone for flavor.

Now add the wine and cooking sherry and cook about 20 mins more until peas are done. They should be pretty mushy. Now you can add the cream and simmer a few more mins. gently being careful not to let it scald the bottom of the pot. Adjust the seasonings to your taste if needed and serve!

This is really good as left overs but it does thicken up a lot once it’s been in the fridge overnight. Just add more water or cream when you heat it back up.  This goes really well with dinner rolls or some crusty french bread.

Serves 8

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