Split Pea Soup

  • 2 lbs. split peas
  • 6 quarts of water
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions
  • 1 tsp. savory
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. marjoram
  • ½ tsp. tarragon
  • 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.

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