Although a favorite across the nation, this dish was introduced to the U.S. by early English settlers. We've omitted the salty ham hock, but added smoked paprika for extra smoky flavor.
1 pound green split peas
2 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon canola oil
7 cups water
1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
4 ounces ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
How to Make It
Sort and wash split peas; drain.
Remove roots, outer leaves, and tops from leeks, leaving 1/2 inch of dark leaves. Slice leek in half lengthwise; cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Cook bacon in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until pieces begin to crisp. Add onion, celery, carrot, oil, and leek; reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add split peas, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 7 cups water and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes or until split peas are tender.
Discard bay leaf. Stir in ham and smoked paprika; simmer 2 minutes or until ham is thoroughly heated.