Nonno Sam's Split Pea Soup
- 2 extra large smoked ham hocks (2-3 lbs)
- 4 boxes chicken stock/broth
- 2 large onions, chopped (About 3 cups)
- 1/4 cup finest Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 large leeks, cleaned and diced
- 6 carrots, chopped (About 3 cups)
- 4 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
- 6 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 bags of dried split peas
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 cup La Chertosa Reserve Chardonnay
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup finely grated, Parmesan or Dry Jack cheese (Use for soup & for garnish)
- Kosher salt
- torn fresh basil, for garnish
Place ham hocks and 1/2 of chopped onions in a large pot with 2 boxes of the chicken broth. Simmer until meat easily peals off bone. Remove and cool. Take meat from bone and cut into sugar cube size peieces. Place bones back into broth to cook our marrow.
In separate pot, place olive oil, leeks, carrots, Napa cabbage, remaining onions and two boxes of chicken broth. Simmer until vegetables are broken down and transparent. After soft, add garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 bag of rinsed split peas. Simmer for 30 minutes or until very soft.
Add meat and broth from marrow bone pot and one more bag of rinsed split peas. Cook for 1/2 hour. Add wine and continue to cook slowly. When near the desired consistency add cheese and Kosher salt to taste. Stir in chopped parsley just before serving.
Add butter and/or cream, if desired, prior to serving.
Garnish with more cheese and torn fresh basil. (I also add additional red pepper flakes to my bowl!)
*A notes about carrots. My Dad hated carrots. Therefore carrots were not a part of my childhood. If you don't like carrots, don't add them to the soup. You can replace the carrots with celery, zucchini, more cabbage or more leeks. Use whatever vegetables your prefer, that's what I do.