- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 pinches ground cloves
- 3 ham hocks
- 8 to 10 cups water
- 1 pound dried yellow peas, rinsed and picked over
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt, to taste, if necessary*
- In a soup pot or large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrot and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and cloves and cook for 1 minute. Add the ham hocks and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until hocks are beginning to get tender. Add the peas and black pepper and continue to simmer for 2 hours. Remove the ham hocks and set aside to cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender, working in batches if necessary. Return the soup to the pot and keep warm until ready to serve. If the soup seems too thick, thin with a bit of water. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- When the salt pork is cool enough to handle, remove any visible fat or gristle and discard. Shred the meat and garnish each serving with some of the meat.
- *Be careful not to salt the soup too soon; because ham hocks are salty, the soup may not need any added salt.