Friday, January 6, 2012

Yellow Split Pea Soup

The first time I heard of Split Pea Soup, I saw a packaged mix sitting in my grandparents cupboard. The picture on the front had this absolutely disgusting army green colored soup, but everyone I talked to swore it was delicious. When I finally decided to give it a try, I was hesitant, but they were right. It was delicious! I just had a really hard time getting over the color.

Enter in yellow split peas. They give the soup a nice pretty orange yellow tint (almost like butternut squash soup) and to me, they taste a bit sweeter. I am now a huge fan of split pea soup, as long as its yellow, and not green.

Yellow Split Pea Soup
Serves 8

2 slices bacon, diced
1 ham hock, or leftover bone from a cooked ham
3 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 leek, sliced light green and white parts only
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c. yellow split peas
6 c. chicken stock
Croutons, for serving

1. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Brown bacon pieces until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate with a paper towel and set aside.
2. Add olive oil, carrot, celery, leek and garlic. Cook over medium heat with the lid slightly on for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add ham hock, split peas, potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then let simmer over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes until peas are soft.
3. Remove ham hock to cool. Strain through a sieve, reserving liquid. Puree mash and return to stock pot with liquid. 
4. Chop ham off hock and add to soup, along with the bacon pieces. Reheat over low. Serve with croutons on top.



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