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Food Friday 10/29/21: Soup and Stews with Deanna Fox

Split pea soup by Deanna Fox.
Deanna Fox
Deanna's split pea soup

Deanna Fox joins us today to share some great ideas for soups and stews that are perfect as the weather starts to cool. A Food Friday regular, Deanna can also answer your cooking and baking questions. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Deanna Fox is a food and agriculture journalist who travels the globe in search of the story, meaning and purpose of our food heritage and systems. She was also the owner of Albany Cooking School for several years. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, The Kitchn, Eater, the Times Union and more. Stories, videos and recipes can be found at www.foxonfood.com or at Fox on Food on Facebook and Instagram.

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Serves 4-6
Note: for a heartier soup, add 1 to 2 cups of small diced raw potato to the soup in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Croutons are a nice garnish.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced small
1 cup small diced carrot
1 cup small diced celery
1 small pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 cloves garlic, miced
1 pound dried split peas (or blend of split peas and dried yellow lentils)
1 smoked ham hock (available in most grocery stores)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups unsalted or low-salt chicken stock
Water, as needed
1 tablespoon dry sherry, more or less to taste

In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, carrot, celery and small pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have started to soften. Add the black pepper and garlic and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add the split peas (or peas and lentils) and stir with the vegetables, then nestle the ham hock into the peas and vegetables. Add the bay leaves and thyme, then cover everything with chicken stock. Increase the heat to bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peas and soft and mushy. (If needed, add more water if the soup is becoming too thick.)

Remove the ham hock and pull meat from the bone to dice. Add the meat back into the soup. Add the sherry and stir to combine. Taste the soup for seasoning, adding more sherry, salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

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