Karl Ratzsch's Split Pea Soup with Ham

Recipe courtesy of former executive chef and co-owner, John Poulos. 

2 tablespoons bacon grease
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 quarts cold water
2 cups green split peas
Pinch ground caraway seed
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 drops hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons ham soup base
Pinch of white pepper
1-2 ounces ham, diced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium heat, using a 1 gallon soup kettle, combine bacon grease with onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, garlic, and sauté until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add water, split peas, caraway seed, nutmeg, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, ham base, and pepper - stir well. Bring soup to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, 1.5-2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until peas are tender and soup flavor is right. About 15 minutes before soup is done, add ham and parsley and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Top with croutons before serving. Serves 4-6.


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