What I love about this recipe is that it is rooted here in the Hill Country with a dash of Louisiana and The Netherlands for fun.
It ain’t called globe trotter’s split pea soup for nothing, y’all.
I first started making this recipe using the information on the humble package of peas picked up at our local grocery store chain, H.E.B. Then, while we were living in Louisiana but on vacation to Amsterdam, I discovered the wonders of a spicier style of pea soup. So, I paired Tabasco’s Chipotle Pepper Sauce with the recipe using peas from Winn-Dixie. Another trip to Amsterdam reminded me that sausage works really well in it, too. After returning to Central Texas to settle down and raise our kiddo, I rediscovered Meyer’s Elgin Sausage—the garlicky one—and realized out that I had my perfect homemade pea soup recipe at long last.
This recipe freezes well. Which is just great because, this being the Hill Country, one night can be perfect for pea soup and the next one can be downright toasty. We try to save this soup for the cooler nights, but you’re welcome to make it whenever the mood strikes you.
Serves 8 to 10
1 small onion
1 cup carrots
3 stalks celery
6 small cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 lb. split green peas
1 smoked ham hock
1 1/2 cups garlic sausage, diced
2 quarts chicken broth
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (optional)
Dice onion, carrot and celery. Mince garlic. Mix vegetables in bowl with bay leaf and lemon juice. Set aside.
Sort and rinse peas and add to large pot. Cover with broth and add ham hock. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add vegetables and sausage. Cook covered over low heat for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and peas start to turn mushy. Remove the ham hock. Add Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce, stirring well. Alternatively, you can salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve with warm, crusty bread. If your gang likes things extra spicy, put the pepper sauce on the table, too.