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Dutch Split Pea Soup

1 lb Dried green split peas
6 c Water
4 c (approx) broth (chicken or beef)
1/4 lb Smoked pork or ham; diced
3/4 c Celery, with some leaves; chopped
2 Leeks; (white part only) thinly sliced & washed well
1 lg Onion; chopped (1 cup) 2 1/2 c Potatoes; diced
1 1/2 c Carrots; diced (2 large)
1/2 ts Salt; if desired
1/4 ts Freshly ground black pepper
1 ds Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce; or to taste

(1) In a large saucepan, combine the peas and water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook the peas for 2 minutes. Remove the peas from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.

(2) Add the broth, pork or ham, celery, leeks, and onion. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the soup for 1-1/2 hours.

(3) Add the potatoes and carrots, and cook the soup for another 15 to 30 minutes (the peas should disintegrate). If the soup gets too thick, thin it with additional broth.

(4) Season the soup with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.

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