Gazpacho = Summer * Butternut Squash = Fall * Beef Stew = Winter
What you ask equals Spring? Well, Split Pea Soup of course. As stated in earlier posts, I love peas and I love soup. Throw in a pork product and you have the perfect combination to make my belly rejoice. This weekend I was craving a great split pea and ham hock soup. My father-in-law had made one several weeks ago using a recipe from the Ad Hoc cook book, so I borrowed the recipe, changed it a bit and went to work.
Split Pea and Ham Hock Soup:
2 T Olive Oil
4 peeled and coarsely chopped carrots
4 stalks coarsely chopped celery stalks
1 small yellow onion coarsely chopped
1 smoked ham hock
3 quarts chicken stock
2 cups split peas (rinsed)
1-2 t apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 cups fresh peas, blanched
½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 T chopped mint, and a few to garnish
Heat oil in a large pot. Add carrots, celery and onion and sauté over low heat until onions are translucent and vegetables are tender. About 15 minutes. Add the ham hock and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes.
Strain the stock, discard the vegetables, and return the ham hock and broth to the pot. Add the split peas and simmer for about 1 hour. You want the peas to be tender they may start to deteriorate but that is ok since you are pureeing the soup later.
Remove the ham hock from the soup. Add blanched peas, mint, and Greek yogurt. Season to taste with 1 t vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste again and make sure it does not need the other teaspoon of vinegar, salt or pepper.
Pull away and discard the fat from the ham hock. Trim the meat and cut into small bite size pieces. Spoon the soup into bowls, top with the ham, and garnish with a mint leaf.
This soup is great reheated and will thicken the longer it sits. Enjoy!!!