SMOKEY SPLIT PEA SOUP
So, I'm slowly realizing I'm a soup person. I had no idea because I don't order it at restaurants. To me, it's always been something you eat when you're sick and can't really taste anything anyway. Well, there is so much to taste in this it's hard to believe and even though the ingredients have been physically blended together their contributions remain distinct. Building flavor indeed.
Ingredients are listed in the order they appear in the recipe and anything that requires prep is in bold. Ingredients are bolded in the directions when you first encounter them as well as when they are reintroduced after being set aside. All ingredients are Capitalized.
Source recipe: Striped Spatula
¼ cup unsalted Butter
2 cups Onion, diced
1 cup Carrot, diced
½ cup Celery, diced
½ cup Leek, diced
¼ to 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt , to taste
½ teaspoon freshly-ground Black Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 pound Dried Split Peas, rinsed and sorted
1 meaty Smoked Ham Hock
1 large Bay Leaf (or 2 small)
2 teaspoons fresh Thyme leaves, chopped and divided
2 teaspoons Marjoram
2 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Vegetable Stock
2 cups Water
1 cup Ham, diced
6 slices White Bread, cubed
4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
4 cloves Garlic, diced
Dutch Oven or Stock Pot
To make the Soup, in a large pot or Dutch oven, melt ¼ cup Butter until foaming subsides. Dice 2 cups Onion, 1 cup Carrot, ½ cup Celery, ½ cup Leek and add to pot. Season with ¼ tsp Salt and ½ tsp Black Pepper. Cook until Vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add 4 cloves minced Garlic and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic. Stir in 2 lbs. Split Peas.
Add 1 meaty Smoked Ham Hock, 1 cup diced Ham, 1 Bay Leaf, 1 tsp fresh Thyme and 2 tsp Marjoram. Stir in 2 cups Chicken Stock, 4 cups Veggie Stock and 2 cups Water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until Split Peas are cooked down and soup is thickened. (Stir more frequently as the soup begins to thicken and add a little additional stock or water if it gets too thick for your tastes.)
To Make the Croutons, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 4 Tbs Butter. Using a pastry brush, coat 6 slices of White Bread with melted Butter on both sides. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs Garlic Powder. Cut Bread into cubes and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Distribute 4 cloves diced Garlic over bread cubes and place in oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, remove the Smoked Ham Hock and Bay Leaf. Set the Ham Hock aside and dispose of Bay Leaf. Use the Emulsion Blender to smooth soup to desired consistency. Remove meat from Ham hock and return to pot. Stir in remaining 1 tsp fresh Thyme. Season to taste with salt, if needed. Serve hot with Croutons and roasted Garlic that made it to the pan.