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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Split Pea Soup with Pork Tenderloin

Note: this recipe actually calls for ham hocks, and while I do include ham hocks in the first hour of cooking, this time instead of removing the meat (read: mostly fat) and adding it back to the pot to cook another 30 minutes, I removed the ham hocks after the first hour, cut up the pork tenderloin and added it to the pot. It was a lot tastier and a lot leaner, with loads more actual meat than rendered from the hocks. but I will say that the ham hocks by themselves make a very thrifty meal. We had half a pork tenderloin in the freezer so I took advantage of that little boon.

Split Pea Soup with Pork Tenderloin
serves 4 (or Todd and Jil)

3 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 bag split peas
1 package meaty ham hocks (or a meaty ham bone)
1/4 tsp marjoram
1 bay leaf
Pepper, to taste
2 stalks celery, chopped
10 - 12 baby carrots, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
12 oz - 1lb pork tenderloin, diced

The players:

Put the first seven ingredients into your pot:

While that comes to a boil, chop up the next three ingredients.

Perfect timing! Now that it's boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

After about 40 minutes, I like to turn the ham hocks over. Your soup will look like this, at that stage:

At the one hour mark, remove your ham hocks. Now if you're skipping the tenderloin, this is when you wait for the hocks to cool a bit, then you cut the meat off and return it to the soup. However, this bowl was the end of the road for my ham hocks:

Add your veggies to the soup:

Now let's deal with the tenderloin. Men, you might want to... um... avert your eyes for the next two photos. First slice down the length of the pork:

Then dice it up:

Add the pork to the soup, stir it up, bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover once more and simmer for 30 minutes.

After a cocktail and a piping hot bath (in that order), this is what I was greeted with:

Perfection! This soup was just absolutely delicious and is ideal for cold winter nights. We each had a buttered piece of marble rye toast with it. Todd was raving about it and we both sneaked into the kitchen several times for more bites. I think there's probably only a single serving left, if that. We hoovered it!

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