Split Pea and Bacon Hock Soup
The addition of a bold walnut salsa brings new dimension to this classic winter warmer. If you have a food processor with a grating attachment it’s a breeze to prepare, simmering gently on the stove with a minimum of fuss.
Place the bacon hocks in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover them (about 2 litres). Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming regularly to remove any frothy impurities. Check the saltiness of the broth – if it’s very salty, discard and start with fresh water.
Bring back to a simmer, then add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnip and split peas. Simmer gently for 1½ hours, until the bacon is falling off the bone. Remove the hocks and shred the meat, discarding the skin and excess fat. Blend ½ the soup and return it to the pot, then add the shredded bacon hock and season to taste. Add the parsley just before serving.
Place the walnuts, garlic, vinegar and thyme in a small blender and pulse to a coarse paste. Season with a little salt and add the oil to loosen. Dollop a spoonful over each soup to serve.
2 bacon hocks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
½ celeriac, peeled and grated
2 parsnips, peeled and grated
1 x 200g packet green split peas
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
For the walnut salsa:
¾ cup walnuts, toasted
1 small clove garlic, mashed with a little salt
½ tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil