- 1 pound dried split peas, rinsed under cool water and drained
- 1 ham hock
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound Smithfield ham, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 cups chicken stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- Parmesan Truffled Potato Chips 
Score the ham hock. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour,. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of chicken stock (or water), the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. (Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.) Remove the bay leaf and discard. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve immediately with Parmesan Truffled Chips on top.
Cook's note: If the ham hock is meaty enough, you can pull any meat from the bone as it gets tender, tear it into small pieces, and put that back into the soup or use it as a garnish.