Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks

I like my split pea soup with plenty of texture, so I puree only half of this recipe, leaving the remaining chunks intact. Homemade stock and a long, slow simmer are the keys to the soup’s full flavor.

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1 16-ounce package dried spit green peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1–1 ½ pounds ham hocks, split*
6 cups chicken stock
*Have your butcher split the ham hocks for you.

  1. Cook the split peas according to the directions on the package. Set aside.
  2. Place the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan set over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and salt and cook until golden and translucent.
  4. Add the garlic, pepper, carrots, celery, and bay leaf, and mix well. Adjust the heat to prevent burning and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked split peas, ham hocks, and chicken stock and stir well.
  6. Cover partially with a lid, lower the heat to a slow simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat. Carefully ladle out about half the soup, and puree it using a food mill or blender. Stir the pureed mixture back into the pot.
  8. R emove the ham hocks. Strip away and discard all visible fat. Shred the meat and return it to the soup. Discard the bones.
  9. Adjust the seasonings.
  10. Ladle into bowls and serve.


Preparation Time: 
Less than 90 minutes.