This is a serious question my Dad asked me when I told him I made the best split pea soup I had ever had. He asked, “How long did it take you to split all those peas?”
I said, “….what? No time. They’re in the bulk foods section. I just poured pre-split peas into a bag.”
“Split peas come pre-split?”
Oh Dad. Seriously, one of these days I’m going to teach him a thing or two about what his kitchen is for.
If those of you out there in the cyber world didn’t know that split peas came pre-split, well I’ve come baring good news! They come pre-split!! You can now make split pea soup literally any time you want without the tedious chore of splitting all those peas!!
When I told a few of my friends I made split pea soup from scratch, I was surprised by some of the faces they gave me. “Meh, I don’t really like split pea soup”
One friend even asked if I put ham in my split pea soup.
I said, “Of course!! What kind of split pea soup doesn’t have ham in it??”
Apparently his Mom makes split pea soup with no ham and it’s pretty gross.
I’m here to to prove you wrong about what you may think about split pea soup.
Yes, it’s green.
Yes, it resembles slime.
No, it’s not pretty like the minestrone soup I made.
But just try it. You’ll like it. Jon said it was the best thing I’ve ever made. EVER!
Pre-Split Peas Soup
1 ham hock (2-3 lbs)
3 quarts of water
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
4 bay leaves
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of sugar
3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
Minced red onion and balsamic vinegar, for garnish
Place your ham hock in a large stock pot and cover with 3 quarts of water (12 cups, for those of you who didn’t know there are 4 cups in a quart. I didn’t.) Toss your bay leaves in there and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the ham is falling off the bone.
Toast your caraway seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, until they are fragrant and browned. (caraway seeds are what make rye bread taste like rye bread. I kept having flash backs to a reuben while I was eating this soup.) Set them aside. After your 2 hours are up, remove ham from stock pot and place on a cutting board to cool.
When ham is cool enough to handle, tear pieces of ham into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Just throw the bone away. Add your pre-split peas and caraway seeds to the stock pot, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes.
While your peas and simmering away, add olive oil to a large skillet over high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmering add onions, carrots and celery to the very hot skillet.
Stir frequently and saute for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to brown. Reduce heat to low and add your butter, garlic and pinch of sugar. Cook vegetables, stirring frequently, for 35 minutes until deeply browned. Like this.
Once split peas are done cooking, add your vegetables, ham, and potatoes to the soup.
Cook until potatoes are tender and the broth is starting to thicken up, about 20 minutes. Season with ground black pepper.
Once you serve yourself up a bowl, drizzle your vinegar on top and add a few of the minced red onions.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! We had a ton of soup for just the two of us, but I’m pretty sure we ate all of it sooner or later.
Pre-split pea it UP!