o 4-6 c. Homemade Pork Broth
o 2 c. water
o 1 lb. bag of dried split peas, rinsed well and drained
o 2 c. roughly chopped onion (one medium onion)
o 2 c. carrots, large dice
o 1 ½ c. celery, roughly chopped
o 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
o 4 Tbsp. separated pork fat (check Broth Blog) or butter
o 2 bay leaves
o 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
o 1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
o 1 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to taste
o 1 tsp. chicken base (optional)
o ½ tsp. dried thyme
o 1/8 tsp. dried ground sage
o Ground white pepper to taste (optional)
1. Begin by breaking down your ham slice. Remove the bone and set aside. Slice off the smoky rind and dice. Cut out any very fatty sections and chop finely. Dice the rest of the ham and set aside, covered.
2. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 Tbsp. pork fat (reserving one) along with onion, carrot, celery and ham trimmings. Stir well for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Stir continuously for another minute.
4. Add 4 cups pork broth, water, ham bone, split peas and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
5. Once gently boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook undisturbed for 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 Tbsp. pork fat.
7. Scatter diced ham in the hot oil and season with smoked paprika. Allow to sear before stirring once and turning off the heat.
8. Once the 30 minute timer is up, add ham and stir the soup well, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of pot. Add 2 more cups of pork broth and chicken base; stir well again to incorporate.
9. Increase heat to medium-low, cover and cook for another 45-60 minutes; this time stirring occasionally. The peas will eventually cook down to a smooth consistency with stirring that you will have no need to use a blender. You may choose to add more water to further thin the soup. If you would like to thicken the soup, simply cook a bit longer uncovered.
10. Discard ham bone and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to finish this soup with white pepper but this is not necessary. A hot bowl topped with freshly-cracked black pepper is just as divine. Serve with warm crusty bread or croutons. Enjoy!