Puree of Split Pea

  • 2 strips bacon, minced
  • 1 onion, yellow, diced
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 potatoes, yellow or white waxy, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup split green or yellow peas, dried
  • 1 ham hock, smoked
  • 1 spice sachet, including 1 clove and 1 garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • 1 cup croutons, small   

Wine Pairings

  • Sancerre
  • Pouilly Fume
  • Champagne
Cook the bacon in a soup pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon; drain on absorbent towels, and set aside. Add the onion, leek, celery, and carrot; stir to coat evenly with bacon fat. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent, 6-8 minutes.

Add the broth, potatoes, peas, and ham hock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sachet and simmer, skimming foam from the surface as needed, until the split peas are soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove and discard the sachet. Remove the ham hock and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, dice the ham and set aside.

Strain the soup through a sieve, reserving both the solids and the liquid. Purée the solids and return them to the soup pot. Add enough of the reserved liquid to achieve a thick soup consistency. Blend well. Stir in the diced ham and bacon and simmer for 2-3 minutes more to heat thoroughly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with croutons.

Yield: 8 servings