Saturday, February 12, 2011

Triple Pork Split Pea Soup

 Up until now, I've only had vegetarian versions of split pea soup.  This version is MOST DEFINITELY not vegetarian.  Leave it up to Michael Symon to use not just one, but three forms of pork in his split pea soup.  In his original recipe, Symon uses bacon, ham hock and spare ribs.  I modified the recipe according to what I had on hand using bacon, ham hock, and ground sausage.  This recipe makes a huge pot of split pea soup that is so soul-satisfying and comforting.  It's thick, it's creamy, it's meaty, and it has just the right balance of spicy undertones from some ground cayenne.  Serve it up with crusty bread or some homemade biscuits and get ready for a nap.
Bacon, Ham, and Sausage...oh my
Split Pea Soup with Bacon, Ham Hock and Sausage
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live To Cook
Serves 8-10

4 ounces slab bacon, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1/2 pound ground sausage (Symon uses 1 slab of pork ribs cut into individual pieces)
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 red onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1 pound split peas (1-1/3 cups)
2 big garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 meaty ham hock
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Crusty bread, for serving

Saute the bacon in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-low heat until the fat has rendered and it's cooked 5-10 minutes.  Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon, increase the heat under the pot to medium, and add the 1/2 pound ground sausage.  Brown and set aside with bacon.

Add the carrot, onion, celery, and salt and sweat the vegetables for about 3 minutes.  (You may find you need to add a little oil at this point).  Add the split peas, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, ham hock, cayenne pepper, black pepper, the reserved sausage and bacon, and 2-1/2 quarts of water.  Simmer, skimming the foam that will rise to the surface as the water comes up to heat, until the peas are tender, 2-3 hours.

Discard the bay leaf.  Remove the hock from the soup.  When it's cool enough to handle, pick the meat off it and add it back to the soup (discard the bone). 

To serve, divide the ribs amoung bowls and ladle the soup over them.  Eat with abundant crusty bread.

This is my submission to Symon Sundays being hosted by Ashlee over at Veggie By Season.


  1. This looks fantastic. I've been thinking of making Split Pea Soup. Now I think I will.

  2. Wow! for an Italian who hasn't met a cut of pork she doesn't like, this is nirvana.

  3. Kim, I love Split Peas Soup, but can't say that I have ever one sounding this good! This is definitely the ULTIMATE split pea soup. I'm bookmarking this one since I know my husband would love this version!

  4. This is certainly one beautiful version of split pea soup! I'm sure it had a deeper meatier flavor than mine, with the ham hock and bacon. So delicious.

  5. I am totally on board with this one. I like pea soup but I really like the added pork. Symon...gotta check him out.

  6. girlfriend, you just came to the rescue! i bought a bag of split peas the other day for this soup, and i was just about to go searching for a good recipe, i now have one! i'm making this tomorrow, can't wait!!

  7. If I ever turn gay, I would fall for Michael Symon just because the dude loves pork as much as I do. They should call this "Pork three ways....oh yeah and some peas", ha ha.

  8. Split pea soup is my absolute favourite soup - I've always made it with a ham hock, but never with the extra bacon - have so got to try that, and since I presently have some beautiful home-cured bacon what better excuse could I have for making this :-)

  9. How perfect that you made homemade biscuits to go with it! Delicious, Kim. ☺

  10. Can you believe it--I've never tried split pea soup, but the whole description of this has left me drooling, so I must make or eat some ASAP!

  11. Wow--I have not seen so much pork in a split pea soup before--it looks delicious. ;-)


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