This was my first attempt at one of my favorite Jewish deli staples, sans the ham. It was so good I’m considering opening Peter’s Kosher Korner! Kids gave it 2 thumbs up. Technically the recipe is part French because it came from my g0-to resource, Jacques Pepin. I modified it a bit by adding smoked ham hocks, carrots and celery, and made my own croutons, recipe below.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 potatoes, finely diced
- 1-pound bag split peas, rinsed and picked through
- 2 smoked ham hocks, or not (you can ask your butcher for these, they add that great smoked flavor)
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, water, or combination
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4-5 slices good quality whole grain bread, (not store bought, processed sliced bread, but hard, crusty bread) cut into 1/2 in cubes
In a large saucepan, saute onion, garlic, celery, potatoes and carrots over medium-high heat. Add peas and ham hock and cover with stock. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered about 1 hour until soup is thick and peas have almost disintegrated but not quite. Puree soup with a stick blender or scoop into upright blender and blend until you have a thick puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove ham hock and let cool slightly. Garnish with croutons (recipe below)
Place cut bread pieces on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 5-9 minutes, checking every few minutes to prevent burning. Remove when they are crispy and browned.
Serve over soup. Bon Appetit!