French-Canadian Pea Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Preparation 30 minutes

Cooking 2 hours

Personal Note – Soup is my favourite food group. My “Grandmaman” is a very talented cook who has inspired me to take joy in preparing traditional homemade food for my family. She taught me how to cook this and many other French-Canadian dishes. I am proud to carry-on these traditions here in Australia with my own family. This soup is a delicious and wholesome dish that my whole family enjoy.

Tips – If using smoked ham hock, reduce salt to ¼ teaspoon. The longer the soup simmers, the better it gets. The soup also freezes well.

Ingredients:
  • 1 unsmoked ham hock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 3/4 cups dried yellow split peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 7 – 8 cups water
Method:
  1. Trim off and discard skin from ham hock; set hock aside.
  2. In large French oven or soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook carrots, celery, onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden.
  3. Stir in split peas, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in 7 to 8 cups water and add ham hock. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until peas are very soft and soup is thickened.  Simmer for a minimum of 2 hours.
  5. Discard bay leaves and transfer ham hock to plate. Let ham hock cool enough to handle.
  6. Discard bone and fat from ham hock, dice meat and return to soup; heat through.
  7. If you like a thicker soup, consider using less water – you can always add more during the cooking process.
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