Pea soup has been enjoyed since about 500 BC in ancient Greece. Since then, the dish has been adapted and refined all over Europe and the world. In this recipe, I’m using dried split peas and some leftover lentils. We’re also gonna make a stock with some roasted smoked ham hocks with maple syrup. This is gonna build us a nice foundation for a delicious batch of pea soup and its happening right now on The Aimless Cook.
You will need:
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 smoked ham hocks
- some maple syrup
- some water
- 1 ½ – 2 cups dried split peas
- salt and pepper, to taste
Start by drizzling some maple syrup on the ham hocks on a baking sheet and roast them in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown and fragrant.
Next, start your stock with a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a 6 qt stockpot on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sweat them out for about 6 – 8 minutes, adding the garlic at the last minute. Add in the roasted ham hocks, fill the pot with water and let it come to a boil. The moment it starts to boil, turn down the heat to medium and let simmer for at least 2 hours.
When the stock is done, take out the ham hocks and set aside. Strain out the veg and discard. Put the stock back on the stove and add the potatoes, split peas, some thyme and a couple bay leafs. Let simmer again for another hour until the peas are done and the potatoes are falling apart. The potatoes will help thicken the soup.
While the soup simmers, take the meat off the bones and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
When the soup is done, skim the surface to get rid of the foam. Next, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until you get the desired consistency. Add in the ham and stir everything together to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and you’re ready to serve. To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with a little maple syrup. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
Pea soup has been made for ages and during that time, has been refined and re-interpreted over the years. The are many different variations of this recipe all over Europe as well as places like the Caribbean and right here in Canada. Since we are using dried peas and ham hocks in this recipe, it’s a very cheap dish to put together. You can serve this dish in many ways: You can serve it with a drizzle of maple syrup with a side of crusty bread, you can add crema for richness, or just plain. They’re all delicious!
What was your favourite soup growing up?