Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Split Pea Rosemary Soup

Let me start by saying that I don't really like peas. It's just one of the few foods that I've never really cared for (but Dad, thanks for making me sit at the table until every last one was gone anyway! I'm sure you did it out of love...). So for the first 26 years of my life I just didn't eat split pea soup, even when my mom made it annually using the ham bone from Easter dinner. This recipe, however, changed my mind!

Split peas can be found in the market either in bulk bins (as at Whole Foods) or in bags like other dried morsels (e.g., Goya). They are peas that are dried and split in half (as you may have guessed), and they're a great source of fiber and protein!

A sea of split green peas. By they time they're done cooking, they look much different!

My recipe is adapted from one that I found on allrecipes.com, although it's quite different from the original. And the ingredients, including rosemary and leeks, make for a wonderfully aromatic soup!

A whiff of rosemary from the garden definitely serves as aromatherapy!

My aromatics ready for a nice saute. Love the green of those leeks!

Split Pea Rosemary Soup (makes about 6 1-cup servings)

1 ham hock
1 small onion, chopped
1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
40 oz. chicken broth, low-sodium or homemade
1 1/2 cups green split peas, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

  • Saute your aromatics (onion, leek, and carrots) in olive oil over medium-high heat until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Be sure not to brown the aromatics.
  • To your crock pot add the ham hock, sauteed aromatics, chicken broth, split peas, bay leaves, and rosemary. Set crock pot to high for 4-6 hours until split peas are cooked and soft.
  • Once peas are cooked, remove ham hock and let cool. Once it's cool enough to handle, pick the meat off and discard the rest of it. Shred the meat with your fingers and add it back into the soup. Store the soup in the fridge and reheat to serve. 
This soup is great with a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche! It also reheats nicely for leftovers.

And just in case you're thinking "What the heck is a ham hock, and where do I get one?"... The hock is a joint in the upper leg, and it's relatively cheap to buy (I believe my butcher sells them for $1.79/lb). Which answers the second half of the question — I get mine from my fav butcher at Reading Terminal Market (shout out to Martin's!). You should be able to get one from any butcher with pork products. Just ask them...don't be scared!

Note that the original recipe (see link above) uses bacon instead of a ham hock. I personally enjoy the texture/authenticity of the ham hock meat verses crumbles of bacon in my soup, but you should do what you prefer. Now go get that crock pot plugged in!


  1. I knew making you finish your peas would pay off!

  2. No...don't you see that that's the reason why I didn't try split pea soup for 26 years?? :)

  3. I LOVE peas :-) Im glad you like them now too!

    This sounds scrumptious !!

  4. Healthy and delicious ... happy days!!

  5. I think I'm going to make this this weekend! Going hock hunting today!

  6. Hahaha...happy hock hunting! :)

    A hock basically looks like a big knob...you could always use bacon too! Or ham. I'll stop!


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