This traditional soup uses a handful of simple ingredients. Dried split peas are inexpensive and readily available in supermarkets. If you don't have a ham hock you can substitute diced, cooked ham. This is actually a great way to use up leftover ham. If you want, you can add 3/4 cup uncooked rice towards the end of the cooking time. My family's favorite add-in was thin spaghetti broken into 1" pieces. It's a probably a little weird but it was delicious. If you choose to add rice or pasta, you may have to add extra water to reheat leftovers. Enjoy!
Rinse split peas under cold running water until water runs clear, drain.
Heat oil in a Swiss Diamond Soup Pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion and garlic, cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until the onion softens.
Add split peas, ham hocks, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until ham hocks are tender and the meat is falling away from the bones. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Remove ham hocks from the pot. Remove meat from bones. Coarsely chop meat and set aside.
Using a Swiss Diamond Jêt Mix Immersion Blender process until desired smoothness. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until hot.
Ladle soup into bowls, garnish and serve immediately with crusty bread.
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