This is one of my favorite dishes of all time, regardless of classification as haute cuisine or comfort food. And what could be better for you? As wonderful as fresh Spring peas are, this soup made from dried peas rocks and couldn't be simpler. Just as I look for an excuse to make a leg of lamb so I have leftovers for curry, the need for split peas soup causes me to want to cook a ham. Of course, a smoked ham hock works nicely, too! Its about as simple to make as any meal I know. Enjoy.
1 lb split peas, picked over - yellow and/or green, whatever is your pleasure
2 qt water
1/2 lb meaty salt pork (rinsed if crusted with salt), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or a meaty ham bone or ham hock
2 large yellow onions onions (5 medium), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tsp dried savory, crumbled
½ tsp dried sage
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse peas and combine in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot with water, salt pork, and half of onions.
- Bring to a boil, skimming froth, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until peas are tender but not falling apart, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Cook leek and remaining onions in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add to soup along with chives, savory, salt, and pepper and continue to simmer, partially covered, until peas are falling apart and soup is thickened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove ham bone or ham hock, if using, then shred meat and return meat to soup.