- 8 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 packages (16 ounces each) dried green split peas, rinsed
- 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 pound)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cartons (26 ounces each) chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups lump crabmeat
- In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- Add onions, carrots and celery to bacon drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in split peas, ham hocks, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until split peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Discard bay leaves; remove ham hocks from soup. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into small cubes; discard bones.
- Puree soup using an immersion blender. Or, cool soup slightly and puree in batches in a blender; return to pan.
- Stir cream, salt, pepper and cubed ham into soup; heat through. In a small bowl, toss crab with bacon; serve with soup. Yield: 12 servings (4 quarts).
Originally published as Split Pea Soup with Bacon & Crab in Taste of Home September/October 2014
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