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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Split Pea Soup

When time is an issue, soups really are the way to go. It takes very little effort to make a large pot and then you have a bunch of meals taken care of! I know a lot of people who regularly prepare a huge batch of their favorite soup to enjoy for lunches or dinners throughout a busy working week.

Soup is also healthy and I swear it gets tastier as the week goes on. And if you don't want to eat the same soup over and over? No problem! Make a big batch anyway and freeze it in portions. You never know when it might come in handy as a quick meal.

Split pea is a soup that my mom used to make for us, but for some reason, I have never really made myself. I have no idea why. I absolutely love it. If it is the "soup of the day" at a restaurant, I will usually order it. I even found that you can buy pretty good tasting ones in tetra packs in the super market. That being said, it is so easy to make, there isn't any reason why I shouldn't just be making it. 

It's really as easy as putting all the ingredients into a pot, bringing to a boil, then simmering for about an hour. Then discard the bay leaves, remove the pork hock, chop up the meat, add the chopped meat back into the soup, and serve.

I, however, like to make it a little healthier by making the stock of the soup the night before so that I can cool the stock and skim off the fat. This is completely optional. Note that you can also skip the pork and make this soup vegetarian.

Regardless of which way you do it, pea soup is a must have fall and winter go-to soup!

Split Pea Soup
Makes a large pot (about 3 litres)

Approx 800 gram Pork Hock
3 litres Water
2 Bay Leaves
Large Pinch Salt
1 Onion, diced
1 Large Carrot, diced
1 Large Stalk Celery, diced
3 cups Split Peas
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, add the water, pork hock, bay leaves and large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour. Strain the stock, reserving the pork hock for use later and discarding the bay leaves.  Let cool and then place in the fridge overnight. The next day, skim the fat off the top of the stock.

Remove the skin, fat and bones from the pork hock and chop the remaining meat up into small pieces. Add this chopped pork, along with the onion, carrot, celery and split peas to the skimmed pork stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover, and let simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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