When I was growing up, if I saw a big chocolate cake on the counter when I got home from school, then I knew my mom had make this soup. My brothers and sister couldn’t stand it- (hence the dessert bribery!), but it was my favorite. So I always had a big bowl of this delicious soup, and then was the first to get my extra big slice of chocolate cake.
It is filling and wonderful comfort food with the fantastic background flavor of the smoky ham hock. And despite the reaction of my siblings, I am watching my 2 year old gobble down a big bowl as I write this!
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped to ¼”
3 large carrots, chopped to ¼”
3 large celery ribs, chopped to ¼”
1lb smoked ham hock
16oz green split peas, rinsed and drained
8 cups chicken stock
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Stir to coat the vegetables, and let them cook for about 5 minutes until they are soft. Add the whole ham hock, split peas and chicken stock. Do NOT add any salt or pepper until the very end- the ham is very salty, and chances are you won’t need any at all.
Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat to low. Simmer everything together for about an hour, or until the peas are soft and the ham hock is tender.
Remove the ham hock onto a cutting board. With a small knife cut all of the lean, usable meat off of the bone, and cut it into very small pieces. Discard bone and set aside the meat.
Using an immersion blender, puree about 2/3 of the soup until somewhat smooth and thickened. Add the ham back into the soup and cook it over low heat until it has thickened slightly, about 5-8 minutes. This is the time to season it if desired.