I know everyone has a split pea recipe, and you’re about to get mine. Sort of. The thing is, it changes every time. Split pea is the perfect mask, no, the perfect stage for a vegetable smorgasbord. The more is definitely the merrier.
Setting that stage: Heat up one large pot ½ filled with water or a combination of chicken stock and water, with a ham hock (or two if small) and a bag of rinsed split peas (any variety). Once it comes to a boil, you can lower the heat; let it simmer for an hour, skimming the top of any foam.
Time to prep your vegetables. The players: Rough chop any combination of garlic (or scapes), onions (scallions, white, yellow, red), leeks, carrots (not too many if you don’t like it sweet), celery, fennel, parsnips, sweet potatoes, peppers (maybe even a hot one), and there are surely more, but you get the picture. Add the veggies to the pot and let it all cook for another 40 minutes. Fresh or dry herbs make a welcome supporting cast.
Pull out the ham hock, and once it’s cool enough, give the meat a dice and toss it back in the pot. And now for the star of the production: a lovely dark leafy green of some sort. Kale, swiss chard, collards, bok choy, or spinach chopped and added for 10 minutes in the pot makes this the ultimate super soup.
Dress the whole thing up in salt and pepper and fried leeks and wait for the rave reviews to roll in!