When we were looking for the world’s best split pea soup recipe we were torn between one that was a hack of famed chef Thomas Keller’s recipe and one from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. They were both very different. Garten’s recipe is a little more rustic. The other, a hack of Keller’s recipe by Steve at Oui, Chef, was a more elegant rendition, like one you’d find on the menu at a fancy French restaurant. We loved both the recipes and they were significantly different so we did the obvious. We published them both. This is Steve’s rendition of Keller’s recipe.
Heat the canola oil in an 8 to 10 quart stock pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, leeks, onions, and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a parchment lid, and cook very slowly, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Remove and discard the parchment lid.
Add the ham hock and chicken stock, bring to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock into a bowl, and discard the used vegetables. Return the stock and the ham hock to the pot, add the split peas and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the split peas are completely soft (do not worry if the peas start to break apart, as they will be pureed).
Remove the soup from the heat, and remove and reserve the ham hock. Season the soup with 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt to taste, and add the blanched peas and crème fraîche. Transfer some of the soup to a blender, filling it only about 1/3 full, and blend on a very low speed until pureed.
Transfer to a bowl and puree the rest of the soup in batches. Taste for seasoning, adding more vinegar, salt or pepper to taste. The soup can be refrigerated up to 2 days. It will continue to thicken as it cools, add a bit of stock or water when reheating if it becomes too thick.
Pull away and discard the skin and fat from the ham hock. Trim the meat and cut into bite-sized dice.
To serve, reheat the soup and ladle into warm bowls, passing the diced meat and mint leaves as garnishes.
Recipe by or based on recipe by: Oui, Chef’s version of Thomas Keller’s recipe Recipe image by: ouichefnetwork.com Recipe video by: