Classic split pea soup

This is my husband Thierry's favorite soup: heart-warming comfort food that's incredibly easy to make. For a real treat, serve it with crusty dark rye bread with sweet butter.

6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

1 pound split peas, rinsed

1 ham hock or smoked pork shank

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion and and carrot and cook till the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the peas, the ham hock or smoked pork shank and 6 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook until it has a creamy consistency, about 90 minutes. Skim excess oil that rises to the top, if necessary. How will you know when the soup is done? It has stopped looking like split peas in water and started to look like split pea soup.

Remove the ham hock, slice off the meat and cut it into small bits, discarding the fat, skin and bone. Return the meat to the pot, add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and serve.