Split pea soup is now what I turn to when the weather turns chilly and the kids are wanting something hearty and warm. Easy to prepare while I'm trying to help with math homework (have you tried to figure out 4th grade math recently?) and clean the cat's hairball up off the kitchen floor.
Ham stock is an ideal addition to this soup, but if you haven't got any, a ham hock is the perfect way to impart that rich smoky flavor a split pea soup screams for.
My favorite way to serve this soup is by adding a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and serving with a crusty baguette slathered with salted butter and a glass of red wine. What better way to warm up. —Château Lingourdy
In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat add bacon and cook until partially browned. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add split peas, thyme, stock, water and ham hock. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 hour, making sure to stir soup every 10 minutes. Peas should be soft and soup thick. Season with salt and pepper.