Classic Pea Soup with Ham
This thick and flavourful soup can be enjoyed with most white wines and lighter reds. It’s a rib-sticking Canadian Living classic. Substitute a smoked turkey leg for the ham hock if you wish.
1 smoked ham_hock (about 1 lb/500 g)
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable_oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 each carrots and stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
2 cups (500 mL) dry green or yellow split_peas
3 green_onions, thinly sliced
Using paring knife, peel off and discard skin from ham hock. Trim off and discard fat. Set aside.
In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat; fry onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper and ham hock, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add stock, peas and 2 cups (500 mL) water; bring to boil over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until peas break down and meat is tender enough to fall off hock, about 1-3/4 hours.
Remove ham hock; pull off and shred meat. Set meat aside. Discard ham bone and bay leaves. In blender, puree half of the soup; return to pot along with meat. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to container and refrigerate, uncovered, until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat to serve.) Ladle into bowls; garnish with green onions.
Tip: After removing the ham hock, you can also use an immersion blender to blend soup to half chunky stage while still in the pot.