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Split Pea and Ham Hock Soup

4 oz Bacon, diced small
1 c Small diced onions
2 tb Minced shallots
1/2 c Carrots diced small
1/2 c Celery diced small
1 tb Minced garlic
3 qt Chicken stock
1 lb Spilt peas
1 Ham hock (6 ounces)
Heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c Cooked split peas
Fresh black pepper

In a stock pot, render the bacon until crispy, remove the bacon leaving the fat. Saute the onions, shallots, carrots, celery and garlic, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock, peas and ham hock. Bring to a fast boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour or until the peas are tender. Remove the ham hock and dice the meat. Set aside. Whisk in small amounts of the heavy cream to prevent from breaking and simmer for 2 minutes. With a hand held blender puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the diced ham hocks and garnish with the whole split peas and fresh black pepper.

Yield: 1/2 gallon

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