Dutch pea soup


1 1/2 lb dried green split peas
2 1/2 qts water
1/3 cup diced salt pork or bacon
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 bay leaf

1 pigs knuckle
1 smoked ring sausage or kielbasa
salt as necessary (start with one tsp )

How to prepare

Rinse peas in colander under cold water. Place in a large kettle. Add the water. Cover and let stand overnight. Or boil two minutes and let soak one hour. In another pot, cook the salt pork about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook until tender but not browned. Add salt. Add this mixture, the bay leaf and the pigs knuckle to the peas. Cover and bring slowly to a boil. Reduce heat and skim off foam. Simmer gently for at least two hours. Remove pigs knuckle and bay leaf. Separate meat from pigs knuckle. Discard bones and bay leaf. Shred meat and reserve. Keep warm. W/a potato masher, mash any solid chunks of vegetables. Soup should have a smooth consistency but should be so thick as to allow a fork or spoon, inserted in the center, to remain upright! If it isn’t, simmer a little longer. Add salt as necessary. Cut sausage into serving size pieces and cook in the soup for about 5 minutes. Remove to a platter and serve on the side with the shredded pigs knuckle. Note: this soup is much better if prepared a day in advance and allowed to stand overnight. In that case it is advisable not to thicken soup too much the first time. Please be warned that all simmering should be done very, very slowly. Check frequently to insure that soup does not burn at the bottom of the kettle, or a bitter taste will result.

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