Split Pea Soup with (optional) Ham Hock
makes about 6 servings
1 onion, diced
1 shallot, diced (optional, but yummy)
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup white wine
2 cups dried split peas
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (or equivalent amount of sweet potatoes)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 T dried thyme or about 4 fresh sprigs
2 t marjoram
2 t dried mustard
1 T cumin
red pepper flakes to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 ham hock (preferably smoked)
- Saute the onions, shallots, and garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil until they are starting to brown.
- Sprinkle the cumin over this and saute about 1 more minute, or until things start to get too dry.
- Add the wine and simmer for about 3 minutes just to cook off the alcohol.
- Add the rest of the spices, the peas, carrots, potatoes, stock, and the ham hock (if you want meat in the soup, but you can't deal with a hock, you can add diced ham).
- Bring the soup to a low simmer and let it bubble for about an hour. Stir a few times in the beginning, but since split pea is a thick soup it might try to stick to the bottom of the pot near the end - just keep your heat low and stir a little more frequently.
- Remove the ham hock and pick off all the good meaty bits, returning them to the pot.
- Serve with buttered toast or croutons. Seriously, don't skip the toast.