split pea soup with ham hocks

I’ve come to realization that, for me, baking is a dangerous hobby.

I suddenly behave like the Hulk when I spot something with an insanely high sugar content, throwing people out of my way and breaking limbs off anyone trying to stop me from eating inhaling a whole pan of brownies. Mainly my husband. Really, only my husband. I give him credit for his efforts, though.

So when any item of insanely high sugar content happens to be a dozen warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven, there’s a good chance I’m eating them. All.

That’s why I’m going to post more real food. Not that cake isn’t real food, but I shouldn’t be eating it for dinner anymore.

This pea soup is so good it almost makes up for the fact that the only sweets we have in our house are 100 calorie trader joe’s chocolate bars. And there are only two left. What?

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I almost didn’t make this soup with the ham hocks because, well, look at them. Animal parts freak me out. Bury them in the veggies as fast as you can so you don’t have to look at them for long.

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If you don’t think you like pea soup, just give this a try. Smokey and salty, just like a pea soup should ¬†be. Just saute the veggies, throw everything else in, simmer, and puree. Don’t forget this¬†fresh bread to go with it.

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Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks

1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb split peas
1.5 lbs ham hocks
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon sage (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 quarts liquid – veggie stock, chicken stock, water, or a combination

*For all the bacon lovers out there, this soup can also be made with strips of uncooked, smokey bacon in place of the ham hocks. Remove the bacon strips from the pot at the same time you would remove the ham hocks. In this case, you could garnish it with fresh bacon crumbles.

 

1. Saute veggies in a large pot or dutch oven in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Dump in the peas, ham hocks, and spices. Mix it up a little. If you’re using broth because that’s what you have on hand, that’s fine but don’t add the extra salt unless you decide you need it later. Stock is unsalted, broth is VERY salted.

3. Add the stock. Bring this to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. If you’re in a rush, it only NEEDS to be cooked until the peas are done, about 30 minutes. The extra 2 hours just gives the flavors time to meld.

5. Take out the ham hocks and put aside to cool. Carefully blend 2/3 or all of the soup in batches in a blender. It’s up to your preference, a little chunky or not at all. An easy alternative to this cumbersome task is using a stick blender.

6. Once the ham is cool enough to work with, rip off any meat you can find.

7. Ladle the soup into bowls, either with the meat mixed in or served as a garnish!

 

 

 

 

 

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