Spring onions are in the stores this week, a sure sign that warmer weather is on the way! They are eye-catching, sold in bunches with the beautiful greens attached. You might think that you need to remove the greens and discard them when you get home, but did you know they can make a nice addition to your soup stock?
We are still feeling the chill here in New England, but I wanted to add a little springtime to my soup. I used spring onion greens to give the stock a punch of flavor!
I also used a fully cooked, uncured pork shank. They have a surprising amount of meat, and the bone creates the traditional base for pea soup and so many others. Of course, you can use diced ham or a leftover ham bone!
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- 1-1/2 cups gluten free chicken stock
- 1 pork shank (or ham bone)
- 2 bay leaves
- greens from 3 spring onions
- water to cover, about 8 cups
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 spring onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bag split peas
- 1 tsp. sage
- 1 tsp. thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- additional water or chicken broth as needed
Rinse the split peas thoroughly in a colander and examine them carefully for stray bits of barley or pebbles. Place them in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat and let them soak while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Rinse the pork shank under cold water. Place in a large stock pot with the chicken stock, bay leaves and about 8 cups water. Simmer 1 hour, then add the greens (tops) from 3 spring onions. Simmer an additional 30 minutes.
Remove the shank, trim all meat from the bone and chop or shred into small pieces. Set aside and refrigerate.
Discard the onion greens and bay leaves and strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth.
Wipe the stockpot clean. Add a little olive oil and begin cooking the carrots, onion and celery over medium low heat. Season with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the strained stock, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Add the soaked peas, stir well and continue cooking for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until the peas are tender. As they simmer, the peas will absorb quite a bit of liquid, so add more water or chicken broth as needed.
When the soup is ready, partially puree it with an immersion blender. I like to leave some of the veggies whole, but you can make it as smooth or chunky as you like. After pureeing, add back the shredded pork and heat through.
The soup is ready, and we have a hearty supper to enjoy. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.
Notes: ♪♫ I love Wellshire Farms ham shanks for my soup recipes. They are gluten free and allergen information is clearly listed on their website.