Lori made this for a Saturday Pairing and it was great….Ray says the best Split Pea Soup ever! The Ham Stock makes a big difference! The pairing was a Cotes-du-Rhone, which went very well, but all the flavors in the soup make it a nice pairing with soft whites (the Posip, from Croatia was excellent) or fresh red wines (such as a dolcetto).
- ½ # dried yellow split peas
- Half a small white onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
- 5 cups ham stock (see recipe below)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 cup ham hock meat (from recipe below)
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Check peas for small stones and discard discoloured ones.
- In a heavy soup pot, sweat the diced onion, celery and carrots in the canola oil.
- Add ham stock and dried peas, bring to a boil, then simmer, skimming foam from the top to remove impurities, until vegetables and split peas are tender. Add the thyme and 1 Tbsp maple syrup.
- In a blender, purée half of the soup, then return mixture to the pot. Add the ham hock meat and adjust the seasoning. (When cooking split peas and lentils, wait until the dish is almost done before adding salt and pepper to taste.) Garnish soup with croutons and a sprig of fresh thyme if desired.
Ham Stock Makes: about 5 cups
Preparation time: about 2 hours
1 large or 2 small smoked ham hocks
1 cup (250 mL) diced carrots
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
About 12 cups (3 L) cold water
10 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves 10 sprigs Italian flat parsley
15 whole black peppercorns
1. In a large stock pot, place ham hocks, carrots, celery, onion and cold water (adding more cold water if needed to cover.)
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Skim foam off the top to remove any impurities.
3. Add the thyme, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns. Simmer for 1½ hours, skimming from time to time.
4. Drain stock through a colander, discarding vegetables but setting the ham hocks aside to cool. Cool and refrigerate the stock. Once the ham hocks are cool enough to handle but still warm, clean the meat from the bones, discarding the fatty and skin parts. Chop the meat into bite-size pieces and store in the fridge or freezer until needed.