Now I know pea soup does not sound that appetizing to some. But if you like it, this is really, really good pea soup. If you have never tried it, this is the recipe to try. If you do not like it, you might like this. If you do not like this, give up on it completely. Not everyone has to like everything.
Leftover ham hock
2 quarts water
Put the ham hock in a large pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Simmer for an hour. Strain the ham and save both the ham and the stock.
Return the stock to the pot and add:
1 pound green split peas (usually one bag)
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, pressed
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Let cook for two hours covered. Every half hour take off lid and stir.
Ladle soup into a blender, no more than 2/3 full and stir until smooth. Repeat until all the soup is done. Note: you need to pour the soup into another container, blend, and then return the blended soup to the pot.You can now add the bits of ham from the reserved ham hock. You can also garnish with green onions, bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese, or sour cream according to your preference. Or enjoy it plain.