Green Pea Soup
1 pound dried split peas
1-2 pounds smoked pork neck bones
3 T butter
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ham, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 T Worchestershire Sauce
croutons and grated cheese as garnish
Soak peas over night. Drain off the soak water.
Simmer the neck bones in the 8 quarts of water until tender (1 1/2 – 2 hours). Remove neck bones. Set the water aside; you’ll use this to cook the peas.
Allow the bones to cool; then remove meat from the bones; set aside.
In your soup pot, melt the butter; add the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, and garlic. Cook stirring until softened a bit.
Add the neck bone meat and the chopped ham. Add some bacon or smoked sausages if you have some on hand.
Stir until well blended and beginning to brown a bit. Add the peas. the reserved neck bone stock, and a healthy dash of Worchestershire sauce.
Cover and simmer over low heat for an hour or more. Add water if needed. Cook until the peas are tender. Test frequently after one hour. Adjust seasonings.
Serve up and garnish with grated cheese and croutons.