- 1 Pound green split peas, rinsed
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, trimmed and chopped
- 3 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped
- 1 celeriac (celery root) or rutabaga, peeled, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Teaspoon dried basil
- 1 Teaspoon dried tarragon (optional)
- 1 meaty ham bone, 2 smoked turkey legs or 2 ham hocks (about 1 ½ pounds total)
- 1 box (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 3 cups diced smoked ham or thinly sliced cooked Polish sausage
- 1/2 Cup whipping cream (optional)
Step 1: In a large pot, place 1 pound green split peas. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Heat to a simmer; skim off the foam. Cover; cook until peas are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 large chopped sweet onions, 3 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery ribs and 1 peeled, chopped celeriac (celery root). Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Stir in 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon dried basil and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (optional); cook 2 minutes.
Step 4: Stir the vegetables into the large pot of peas, along with 1 meaty ham bone and 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until all vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.
Step 5: Remove the bone. Puree soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) until smooth. Taste; adjust seasonings with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
Step 6: To serve, stir in 2 to 3 cups diced smoked ham or sausage. Top servings with a drizzle of whipping cream, if desired.