FRENCH SPLIT PEA SOUP
~ Perfect finale for the Easter ham bone and another 'bone-chilling' night
1 juicy ham bone
(or 8-12 slices chopped sauteed bacon, browned and crisp)
1 large chopped Vadalia or Spanish onion
1 bunch chopped leek (white and pale green parts)
2-4 large peeled and chopped carrots
4 minced garlic cloves
4 (32-ounce) cans or boxes organic chicken broth
2 cups dry white wine
2 pounds rinsed green split peas
4 whole bay leaves
2-4 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves (1-2 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
freshly ground cracked pepper to taste
coarse salt to taste
- In large stockpot, saute onion and leeks in reserved 2 tablespoons bacon grease (or add 2 tablespoons olive oil if using ham bone) until limp.
- Add garlic and chopped carrots, cooking additional few minutes. Carefully add stock, scraping brown bits from bottom of pot.
- Add ham bone, peas, white wine, bay leaves, rosemary, pepper and salt. Bring to boil and reduce heat, simmering until peas are tender, stirring occasionally about 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. (12 servings for light eaters)
- Note: For a unique flavor, add a dollop of fresh horseradish, plenty of cracked pepper and top with seasoned croutons.