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Grandma Zimmern's Tailgating Pot of Love
SUBMITTED BY: Andrew Zimmern
3 cups split peas ( I like using 1 and 1/2 cups each of green and yellow)
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced fennel
1 diced onion
3 cups chopped escarole
2 minced garlic cloves
1t fresh thyme leaves
8 cups chicken stock
1 ham bone or smoked pork shank with plenty of meat still clinging to it. If you are using a meaty bone, you may still wish to add some minced ham if you have any left. Even when using a bone by itself the soup works wonderfully!
1# (or more!) of your favorite sausage from Kramarczuk's….Kielbasa, Krakowska or Ukrainian, sliced thin…they all rock in this soup.
Place the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add the thyme, garlic, fennel, celery, onions, escarole and carrots.
Cook for several minutes until onions are glassy being careful not to scorch the vegetables.
Add the ham bone and minced ham. Cook for several minutes, stirring a few times, and add all the stock.
Bring to a slow boil, lower heat to maintain a simmer, add the peas and cook until the split peas are soft.
Gently 'mash' soup with a whisk, three or four strokes is enough. You want some of the peas to thicken the broth but you want some peas left to hold their shape.
Stir in the sausage and season with sea salt and ground white pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes more.
Season at the table or on the tailgate with thin slices of limes or small drizzles of white vinegar, both of which work wonders for brightening up pea soup.
Serve with a crusty bread and some great beer.
Makes just over 3 quarts of soup…enough for 2…just kidding.