Green Split Pea Soup

1 lb. green split peas

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 ham shanks (about 2 or 3 lbs.)

1 large potato, peeled & diced

8 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Dash of ground cloves

Salt and ground black pepper to taste or use combination of freshly ground black pepper and freshly ground Grains of Paradise.

 

Rinse  peas.  In a heavy dutch oven, saute celery, onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is tender but not browned.  Add rinsed peas, ham shanks, potato, ground black pepper and/or ground Grains of Paradise, chicken broth and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until peas are very tender, about 1 hour.  Remove and discard bay leaves.  Remove ham shanks, allow to cool and cut the meat from the bones and discard the bones.  Dice the meat and set aside.  Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in the food processor and return to pot.  Stir in meat and creme fraiche.  Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Check for salt (broth and ham shanks have salt in them so don’t add any salt until the end of the cooking process) and add cayenne pepper, start with a little less than 1/4 tsp. and check for heat before adding more – to your taste.  Serves 6 to 8.

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