Yellow Pea Soup
2 cups whole yellow dry peas
2 medium carrots, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
1 medium leek, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cup chopped)
1 large onion, finely chopped ( about 1 1/2 cup chopped)
3 tbsp butter
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
1 small smoked pork hock or ham bone with meat on it (optional)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Place peas in a large bowl, and cover with 3 inches of water. Soak peas for at least 8 hours (or overnight). Drain and rinse.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onions in the butter until translucent, for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and leek and cook, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables have softened and are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, pork hock, drained peas, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot and simmer, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes until the peas are completely soft and tender (about 2 to 3 hours).
Add water if necessary to achieve desired consistency (the soup should be quite thick). If a pork hock was used, it can be removed and the meat cut off and returned to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with fresh chopped parsley.