Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

4/5 lb. dried split peas
Ham bone with meat, or smoked pork hocks
Water, about 3-4 qts.
1 onion, chopped
Garlic powder, about ¾ tsp
Oregano, about ½ tsp
Pepper, about ½ tsp
Chicken Soup base – about 2-3 T. (possibly more)
Potatoes, diced – about 1 ½ c.
Carrots, diced – about 1 c.
Celery, diced, about 3 stalks with leafy tops

Boil the ham bone or pork hocks until tender. Take out of the water and cool the meat until you can take it off the bone. Discard the bone & fat.

Cool the remaining stock. Skim off hardened fat.

Slowly pour the remaining stock into a fresh stock pot, but do not use the bottom settlings. Discard them. Add a little more water to the stock pot so you have at least 3 qts. Bring the stock to a boil. Add the peas and boil for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat a bit to a gentler boil and add the potatoes, carrots, onions and celery. Boil another 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the seasonings. I never add any salt because the ham is salty and so is the soup base. Let the mixture simmer slowly for several hours. (Cover partially, stir occasionally.) Taste and add more seasonings as needed. Shortly before serving, add grated fresh potato or dried potato flakes (Instant mashed potatoes.) Stir in until well absorbed or the real potatoes are cooked through. This will thicken the soup. The soup is better on the second day as the flavor comes through even more.