My childhood memories of food are strong. Each season had a special dish my mom would make only at that time of year. If you really love something and it only comes around once a year, I guess it makes a big impression on you. 🙂
This soup is a signature from my mother’s kitchen every Fall. It gets a punch of flavor from smoked ham hocks. They are a must! Don’t skip ’em, not even bacon is a suitable substitute.
It does take a while to simmer on the stove, but it is so worth it. I remember walking by it several times over the course of what felt like an entire afternoon, checking to see what progress the peas has made. Time seems to crawl when you are young; it definitely doesn’t take a whole afternoon to make this hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup!
Now in my kitchen, the turkey towels make an appearance between October and Thanksgiving. I love them very much. It’s my way of welcoming Fall, alongside a bowl of this lovely soup.
Homemade Split Pea Soup
- 1 lb green split peas
- 2 large meaty ham hocks (1 1/2 lb)
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
Place the ham hocks in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of water. Simmer very low for 1 hour, skimming fat off the water occasionally. Remove the ham hocks and pull the meat from the bones, set aside. Keep the water, and add more to it if it cooked down to less than 2 quarts.
Rinse the peas and add to the water, along with the onions, carrots, celery and herbs. Bring to a low boil, then decrease heat and cook on low, slowly, for 1 to 2 hours- or until the peas, carrots and celery have all dissolved into the soup (minimal chunks left behind). Cook with the lid off because you want some of the water to evaporate, which helps the soup get really thick. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir the meat in 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with crackers, yum!