Monday, January 23, 2012

My Papas Split Pea Soup

You may hear this all of the time. That certain soups are better than the other. People argue on who has the better recipe. Blah blah blah...Well, I am not here to say that I have the best pea soup recipe in the world, no, but I will say that it is the BEST SPLIT PEA RECIPE IN THE UNIVERSE! Ok, now that I have that off of my chest I can continue. Granted this may be since I grew up on this recipe, but my father has always made the best soups. I mean it is just ridiculous! Back in the day when wind would get out about my father making soup, people would start showing up at the house. We would have 20 people sitting around just to get a bowl of his soup. The two that he is particularly famous for are his Split Pea Soup and his Lentil Soup. He also does a mean Chicken Noodle and the most delicious Kale...but those will be other posts. As I gain experience in my quest for Domestic Goddessdome I have been slowly attempting to learn his recipes. This bitter cold weekend I felt was the best time to learn a soup! Oh my oh my, delicious! Just the perfect soup for the cold days. This will practically serve 20 people or 10 people who want second servings...Maybe 5 super hungry soup fanatics! So get a big pot! (This is a great soup to freeze for later use) I use a large pressure cooker I will look at the size and put it here. This makes life easier! The picture doesn't do it justice. I finished when it was already dark out and didn't want to set up my light box, so ya know, it works right!?

Ingredients:
1/2 lb Bacon cut into small pieces (make sure it is particularly smoky!)
1 large onion chopped (I like the sweet onion for this)
1 lb Smoked Kielbasa slices (did I mention we are making a bunch of this?)
1-11/2 cup baby carrots (you can cut up large carrots if your prefer)
1 Stalk Celery with leaves chopped
a few sprigs of parsley chopped with stems and leaves
1 lb smoked ham cubed
1 bag dried split peas
1 ham bone or pig hock (I used to think my father would say peacock!)
Water
Pepper and Salt to taste (you probably will not need the salt)
(optional: Potatoes)

Heat up your pot. Put the bacon and smoked kielbasa into the pot to brown as they start to release fat add the chopped onion. Let that cook down a bit until the onion is caramelized and transparent. It may almost look like it is slightly burning on the bottom. Don't worry. Once all is browned up add a few cups of water (3-4) and bring to a boil. Add your carrots (you can throw the baby carrots in whole to make things quicker). Put in your chopped celery, parsley, cubed ham. Let it boil for around 5 mins to let the flavors infuse a bit. The pour the whole bag of split peas in and place your ham bone or pig hock in. Cover with water until your pot is about 2/3 full. Bring to a rolling boil as you stir to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom. Place pressure cooker lid on according to manufacturer's instructions and bring up pressure. Once pressure is built to the point where you can hear the steam, turn down the heat to about half and let it cook for 15 minutes. After 15 mins take off heat and take off lid according to your directions. (if you have never dealt with a pressure cooker before, BE SURE TO READ THE DIRECTIONS! if one of those blow saurkraut into the air and all over your legs you will never move so fast to remove your pants in your LIFE! Trust me on this one!) Stir the pot to make sure that the newly hydrated peas are not sticking to the bottom. Make sure that everything is mixed nicely and is quite loose (if it is thick, add some more water). Bring back up to a rolling boil and place lid back on. I am paranoid, so I tend to do this every 15 minutes for an hour. The soup is finished when the meat on the ham bone or pig hock has pretty much fallen off of the bone. If the soup is still a little too liquid let it cook a little longer without the lid making sure to stir it occasionally. Your soup will be complete!
Make a pot of boiled potatoes (salt the water) Place some potato in your bowl and put a few ladles full over them. Yum!!
Get yourself a bowl and enjoy!
As with most soups, this soup is even more flavorful the next day when the flavors are infused throughout the soup.
I really love this soup! I hope that you do too!!
As always, stay inspired and stay Posh!

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