ERBSENSUPPE (German split pea soup, for four)


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 slices bacon, minced

1 large onion, minced

1 rib celery, minced

1 large carrot, peeled and minced

1 small celery root, peeled and minced

kosher salt to taste

2 tablespoons flour

10 sprigs flat leaf parsley

8 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 pound split peas, rinsed and drained

2 large smoked ham hocks (about 2 pounds total)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Put the oil and bacon into a 6 quart pot and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Add the onions, celery, carrots and celery root, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

2. Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with kitchen twine; add to the pot along with the peas, ham hocks and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until peas are very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat. Discard herbs. Transfer hocks to a plate and let cool; pull off and chop the meat; discard fat, skin and bones. Stir meat into the soup, season with salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with reserved bacon.

from Todd Coleman, Saveur: the New Comfort Food, Home Cooking from Around the World

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