adapted from cookingontheside.com
makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 pounds ham hocks (about 3)
1-1½ pounds ham steak, fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 bay leaves
3 quarts (12 cups) water
1 pound split peas, rinsed*
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Sauté onions, carrots and celery until vegetables begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add ham hocks, chopped ham, bay leaves and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until ham is very tender. Remove ham hocks and bones. Shred meat into bite-size pieces and return to stock. Discard bones.
2. Add split peas and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 20 minutes or until peas dissolve and thicken soup. Remove bay leaves. (Soup may be refrigerated for several days or frozen.)
* Wait to rinse the peas until right before you’re ready to add them to the soup pot—otherwise, they will all stick together!