We loveee soups. I mean we really loveee soups! Creamy, broth filled, beefy, chilled, or thick we loveee them.
It’s just something that I can get down with, especially when it’s cold outside. Oh, who am I kidding? I can eat them all year long. I can eat them in a house, I can eat them with a mouse, I can eat them on the go, I can eat them nice and slow…
Seriously, I’m so sorry! Dr. Suess just came flying out while I was typing like it had a life of it’s own. Honestly, I felt clever and giggled a little bit at the same time. Now back to soups. We think they’re soup-er! For reals!
While Emery has made this with potatoes before this recipe is potato free. It’s filled with the normal things you would expect like peas, ham, and of course mirepoix, which make the five ingredients for this recipe.
It’s amazing how much flavor one ham hock can produce. If you’ve never cooked with one before, then I know it can seem a little daunting at first, at least it was for me. That was until I learned that a little goes a long way, it needs to washed well, and simmered for a long time to release all of it’s flavor. Country cured ham hocks aren’t used for the meat but rather the flavor that they produce from the curing process. I’ve found that they can have a little bit of mold on them from being cured under low temperatures for extended periods of time.
To clean your ham hock you will want to do a couple of things.
- Wash the ham hock under cold water. If you find that there is a bit of debris, then a scrub brush would work nicely. I would pay special attention to the bone area where it was cut and make sure there aren’t loose little pieces of bone that can come off while cooking.
- Place in a large pot fully covered in water, and bring the water up to a simmer.
- Let the ham hock simmer for about 2 hours.
- Remove the ham hock from the water, and let it cool. Pull off any meat from the hock to use for the soup.
- Skim the top to remove the fat that has come to the surface.
- Use the pork both for this heavenly split pea soup.
Before using the broth for your split pea soup it would be a good idea to taste it to see how salty it is. Depending on how much salt was used during the curing process you could be left with one salty broth. Have no fear… just add more water!
While some people suggest soaking the peas overnight before cooking them, we live on the wild side and don’t. Actually, Emery doesn’t soak his peas or lentils. He’s such a rebel. Don’t worry they cook up nicely, and you’ll be left with a 5-ingredient split pea soup that’s so thick and hearty that the thin stuff will never do.
5-Ingredient Split Pea Soup
Please see post for further instructions if first time cooking with a ham hock.
- 2 16 oz bags of dry split peas
- 1 ham hock
- 1 onion, large diced
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 12 cups of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional garnish: croutons
- Step 1 Clean the ham hock. In a large pot bring 12 cups of water to boil, and add the ham hock. Simmer for 2 hours, remove the ham from the bone, and skim the fat from the broth.
- Step 2 Add the remaining ingredients to the broth and continue cooking on low for 2 hours while stirring frequently. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.
- Step 3 Salt and pepper to taste.