Geoff and I made this the other day, and it was delicious. It tasted even better the day after. Note: store the salt pork separate from the soup. Reheat the soup, then drop in the salt pork without reheating. That way, the crunchiness is maintained, and the soup warmed up the salt pork nicely.
Source: Cooking Light, January/February 2010
Habitant Pea Soup
Habitant refers to people who live in rural Québec, where this hearty soup is a popular staple.
Yield: 8 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups yellow split peas
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth (we used chicken broth)
2 cups water
6 ounces salt pork
2 bay leaves
1 (12-ounce) ham hock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crème fraîche (we had heavy whipping cream on hand, and used that instead)
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups onion, carrot, and celery to pan; sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas; sauté for 1 minute. Add broth and the next 4 ingredients (through ham hock); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender, skimming surface occasionally, as necessary.
2. Remove ham hock and bay leaves; discard. Remove salt pork; cool. Remove 1 1/2 cups pea mixture; let stand 5 minutes. Puree 1 1/2 cups pea mixture, and return to pan, stirring to thicken slightly. Stir in parsley, chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.
3. Dice salt pork. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cover and cook 5 minutes or until crisp and browned, stirring frequently. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon pork and 1 1/2 teaspoons crème fraîche. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, if desired.