Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!
Split pea soup is one of my favorites when prepared properly. This recipe for split pea soup evolved through several years before it finally suited my own tastes. Split pea soup is "stick to your ribs" kind of soup that a good addition to most American type meals and very satisfying in cold weather. And, this soup can be prepared well in advance and refrigerated until used. This soup will thicken when refrigerated. Before reheating, add a little water to the pot and reheat over a low flame to prevent burning.
As an option to using ham hocks, you may instead fry 1 lb. of bacon until crisp, crumble the bacon, and then add it to the soup in place of the ham hocks. Reserve the bacon grease for another use, or discard somewhere other than your sink as the grease may solidify and clog the plumbing. Alternately, this soup is a great way to use some of that leftover ham from a holiday meal! I suggest dicing and simmering the ham in a little bacon grease until slightly browned for a little extra flavor before adding it to the soup.
The recipes presented this month are from my yet to be published cookbook, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests.
Now, on to the recipes!
1 tsp. parsley flakes, or 3 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
Put the ham hocks into a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Add the split peas and salt. While the peas are cooking, dice the onions, carrots, garlic and celery and add to the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for one hour. Add the spices and bay leaf while the soup is simmering.
After one hour, carefully remove the ham hocks with a slotted spoon and allow to cool for about 15 minutes while the soup simmers. After the ham hocks have cooled sufficiently, remove the skin, fat and bone from the meat. Dice the remaining meat from the hock and return to the soup. Using a potato masher, mash the soup with a potato masher to achieve a thicker consistency and simmer for an additional 20 minutes before serving.
This soup can be a meal in itself, served with crackers, or as a first course to any good American style meal. You may also serve it with a sandwich for a simple and complete meal. I like to eat this soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.
I often make this recipe when pressed for time, or when I am lazy. Progresso brand pea soup is one of the better brands, in my opinion, however the soup straight out of the can seems rather bland and lacks the flavors that I prefer. Consequently, I "doctor" the canned soup to suit my own tastes. Thus, I add bacon and spices to give this soup a little extra flavor.
2 cans Progresso Green Pea Soup
½ Lb. bacon, fried crisp
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. tarragon
1/4 tsp. savory
½ tsp. parsley flakes, or 1 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
Dice the bacon and fry in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Simultaneously, heat the 2 cans of soup over low heat in a suitable pot. Once the bacon is fried, drain and add to the soup. Also add the spices. Simmer the soup over low heat for about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the flavors to blend. Serve hot with a sandwich for a quick and filling meal.