It’s not that I’m not excited about this recipe, because really, it totally rocks. I just thought somehow we’d be able to sneak by the chilly temps that somehow seem to always return before summer. I was banking on putting this recipe up come fall.
Yet typical Chicago – that is not the case. Back to a chilly 48 degrees and suddenly nothing sounds better than a bowl of soup. It’s hard to believe the other night I was sweating on a fast paced walk, thanks to L on his bike. Seriously, how many times can one say ‘stay to the side of the road!!!!!!!!!!!!’
Anyway, luckily this recipe is incredibly easy to whip up, totally healthy, and somehow the peas still make it feel like a spring dish. We don’t want to go to far back into winter mode when we’ve come so far.
Let’s hope for warmer temps this weekend (it HAS to happen – the pool opens!). Until then, ladle me another bowl please. I’m freezing.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large springs of fresh thyme
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lbs green split peas
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 4 ounce smoked ham hock
- one baguette, crust removed
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 TBS olive oil to warm. Add in the veggies and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
- Stir in the split peas, 8 cups water, and the stock. Add the ham hock, cover the pot, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the ham hock meat is tender.
- Meanwhile, tear the baguette into bite sized pieces. On a large rimmed baking sheet toss the bread with the remaining 2 TBS olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Arrange in a single layer and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Reduce the heat under the soup pot to low. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ham hock to a cutting board to cool. Remove meat, discarding the skin and bone, and chop into bite sized pieces. Return the meat to the soup. Remove thyme stems and season the soup to taste with salt & pepper.
- Ladle the soup into deep bowls and top with homemade croutons.