Karl Ratzsch’s Restaurant Split Pea Soup with Ham

This recipe is occasionally served at Karl Ratzsch’s. The recipe was requested and published recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s reader’s request section, found here: http://www.jsonline.com/features/recipes/56808987.html. John Poulos, executive chef and co-owner, sent the recipe, saying, customers may request it in advance.

Karl Ratzsch’s Restaurant Split Pea Soup with Ham
2 tbsp. bacon grease
¾ c. onion, diced
½ . carrot, diced
½ c. celery, diced
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. garlic, chopped
3 qt. cold water
2 c. green split peas
Pinch ground caraway seed
Pinch nutmeg
¼ tsp. celery salt
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 drops hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. ham base
Pinch of white pepper
1 – 2 oz. ham, diced
1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Croutons

Over medium heat, using a 1 gal. soup kettle, combine bacon grease with onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, garlic and sauté until tender, 4 – 5 min. Add water, split peas, caraway seed, nutmeg, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, ham base and pepper, stir well.
Bring soup to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, 1½ – 2 hours, stirring every 15 min., until peas are tender and soup flavor is right. About 15 min. before soup is done, add ham and parsley and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Top with croutons before serving. Serves 4-6.
Note: This soup is best made the day before serving.

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