Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chopped medium onion
1 potato cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium leek, white and light-green parts chopped (optional)
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bag (16 ounces) green split peas, picked over and rinsed
Ham bone (or Ham hock) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
4 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. In a Dutch oven or 5-quart heavy pot with a lid, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, potato, leek and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Add broth, split peas, ham bone, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and partially cover; simmer until peas are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, make croutons: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

4.Remove and discard bone from soup. Working in batches, puree only 1/2 the soup in a blender (don’t overfill); return to pot. Add ham cubes, and simmer until heated through. If necessary, thin with water. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve topped with croutons.

Source: Split Pea Soup with Ham with additional modifications.