Classic Split-Pea Soup

by Cathy Pollak
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peasoup.jpgGrowing up I spent a lot of vacations traveling up the California coast.  It always seemed our first stop was a small town just north of Santa Barbara known as Buellton.  Here we would stop at Pea Soup Anderson's to have...wait for it...their famous split pea soup.
 
I don't think it was the best pea soup I've ever had but I do know it is where I became a fan of this hardy, green liquid.  There was something about stopping at Pea Soup Anderson's that seemed special.  I'm not sure if it was the giant windmill turning out front or going into the gift shop and buying some candy that made it exciting.  I just remember loving it.

Split pea soup is so easy to make.  It falls into the category of "set it, and forget it" for me.  This recipe is quite tasty and doesn't require any additional seasoning.  We love it with crusty bread on these beautiful but cold winter days.

Classic Split-Pea Soup
Adapted from Real Simple, best recipes

1 ham hock
2 32-ounce-containers chicken broth
1 pound green split peas
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Rinse the ham hock and place it in a large saucepan or Dutch oven along with the broth, split peas, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 3 to 3-1/2 hours.

Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Transfer the ham hock to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle, at least 10 minutes.  Shred the meat (there won't be a lot) and stir it into the soup.

Serve warm with crusty bread.

 

Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.

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