This recipe is for split peas that do not require soaking. Be sure to read the label to determine whether soaking is required.
Preparation: 1½ hours - makes 6 quarts, about 20 servings
4 strips bacon, chopped
2 pounds ham steak, cubed
2 onions, chopped #2 cone
4 cloves, garlic minced fine
4 medium carrots, chopped #2 cone
4 stalks celery, chopped #2 cone
1 cup chardonnay wine
6 cups homemade chicken stock
2 pounds green split peas
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups water
3 cups Italian bread, cubed
1 cup golden olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a hot dry pan over high heat 450°F (232°C), brown the bacon crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cubed ham and saute until slightly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and saute until the moisture evaporates totally and fond forms on the bottom of the pan.
Slowly stir in the wine, add the Italian seasoning, and simmer until the wine has nearly evaporated. Stir in the stock, split peas, vinegar and Italian seasoning. Add enough water to nearly fill the pan, about 2 cups. Cover the pan and open the vent. Reduce the heat to medium-low 240°F (116°C) and simmer for about 45 minutes, until peas are soft. Stir occasionally. Add 1 to 2 cups of water as needed.
In the 11½-inch stir fry skillet, bring olive oil and butter to temperature for deep frying 360°F (182°C). Add a small amount of cubed bread at a time, about a handful, and cook to a golden brown. Remove to a paper towel or rack to drain and cool.
To serve, ladle the split pea soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and top with croutons. Serve with rye bread and butter.