I Heart Pumpernickel
I told a few of my brewhouse regulars about my blog. They returned on a Friday afternoon and said among other things, “We can’t wait to try your lentil soup.”
My dear friends, I made this recipe today. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow after all the flavors have a solid 24 hours to combine. I need to make extra croutons: they are addictive!
Split Pea Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons adapted from Gourmet Magazine January 2004
2 meaty ham hocks (1 3/4pounds)
16 cups of water
4 large carrots
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound dried split peas (2 1/4 cups) picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups 1/2 inch cubes pumpernickel bread (from 1 1/4 lb loaf)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)
Simmer ham hocks in 16 cups of water in deep 6-quart pot uncovered until meat is tender 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Transfer ham hocks to a cutting board and measure broth: If measures more than 12 cups, continue boiling until reduced; if less, add enough water to total 12 cups. When hocks are cool enough to handle, discard skin and cut meat into 1/4 inch pieces (reserve bones).
Chop 2 carrots and cook along with onion and celery in 2 tablespoons oil in a 6-8 quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add split peas, table salt, pepper, ham hock broth and reserved bones and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally until peas are falling apart and sou is slightly thickened, and 1 1/2 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
While soup simmers toss bread with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and kosher salt in a large bowl, then spread in one layer on large shallow baking pan and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool croutons in pan on a rack.
Halve remaining 2 carrots lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Remove bones from soup and discard. Add carrots and ham pieces to soup and simmer, uncovered, until carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add frozen peas and simmer, uncovered, stirring, until just heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
Serve soup with croutons.