When I was growing up, my mom would make Split Pea Soup every winter. Now that I’m a student with low funds and a lack of time, she’s passed on the recipe to me and it is truly one of my favorite things to make. It is so tasty, takes so little effort, is very affordable to make, and is really good for you! A lot better than pizza, anyway.
First gather your ingredients. Split peas (green or yellow, it doesn’t matter), three carrots, an onion, three bay leaves, and ham hocks. You may or may not be able to find ham hocks where you live, so I’ve used a pork shoulder. Basically you just want something that is really tasty, has some fat, and is on the bone.
Now grab a soup pot. Put all of your ingredients in, but chop the onions and grate the carrots first. This will make it easier to blend up later. Also add some salt and pepper now.
Add 8 cups of water, plus a cup or two depending on how big your ham hock is. You want the water to nearly reach the top of the meat.
Now put it on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. It is really important to make sure it is fully boiling – those split peas are similar to lentils, and the cooking process will take a lot longer if those peas don’t get up to a high temperature quickly.
Once it is boiling, put the lid on and turn the stove down to low. Let it cook for 2-3 hours and if your pot is like mine and isn’t nonstick, then make sure you stir it often to make sure the peas don’t burn on the bottom. When your peas are completely cooked, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside to cool. It will help you (and your hands) if you cut it up a bit first so it cools all the way through.
Once everything has cooled down a bit, bring out your hand blender and blend up the soup until it is creamy. Add more water if it is too thick for your liking, and add more salt/pepper now as needed.
Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and pull apart the ham hock. There is a lot of fat, so try to tear up the meat into bite-sized chunks and remove as much fat as you can. When you’re done, throw it into the soup.
I should have torn my meat up more – it was a bit big to be easily eaten.
Now just stir your soup, heat it up, and serve. Enjoy!