STAR WARS, the first episode of the prequel trilogy is being re-released in the theaters in 3D next week!!! That means more money being made for the Lucas Industry. In honor of the movie, Yoda and I have decided to put together a special recipe to share with everyone on my blog!
Yoda originates from some kind of long, lost species. No one knows what happened to all of them and why only Yoda is left (It’s a deep dark secret that he doesn’t like to talk about). But Yoda did decide to divulge that the secret to his lovely shade of pale green skin is that he just loooooves Split Pea soup!!! He just loooooves the color green! And everything he consumes into his body is in this lovely shade of pale yellow-green! Come on, GREEN, his light saber is! In fact, I once had little chopsticks that were little green light sabers. I have since lost them. Actually, they are in my house somewhere, I just don’t know where, but perhaps the Force will help me find them.
Now where was I?
- 2 Cups of Dried Split Peas (Ignore the word “chopped” on the photo, dunno why I put that there.)
- 1-2 Small-Medium Ham Hock
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
- 3 Cloves of Finely Chopped Garlic
- 1 Cup Chopped Potatoes
- 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
- 1 Cup Chopped Ham or Smoked Sausage
- 4-6 Cups of Water or Chicken Stock
Press the START button on the pressure cooker to heat up the heating element for the browning feature. Add a bit of olive oil and saute the onions, celery and garlic for a few minutes.
When the vegetables have become a bit soft and released all their fragrant goodness, shut the pressure cooker off.
Add the Split Peas to the mixture and give it a stir.
Take the piece of Ham Hock and use a sharp knife to cut a few slits into the chunk, but don’t slice it all the way through. Add it to the mixture in the pot.
Pour water into the pot so the water overlaps the mixture of Split Peas by 2 inches. You can choose to use chicken stock if you like but I used water to cut down on the sodium. You can do a mixture of water and stock as well.
Shut the lid and lock it. Adjust the valve on top to Airtight.
Program the pressure cooker to cook for 15-minutes and then press START.
As the pressure cooker does its thing, you can take this time to practice your Jedi powers. A young Padewan needs to always train and master his Jedi skills.
When the pressure has built up pressure and the Float Valve rises, the machine will seal completely.
When it’s finished, it will beep about three times and go to Keep Warm.Manually release the pressure by adjusting the pressure valve on top to Exhaust. Use a dish towel because the pressure may be hot and may sputter a bit.
Once all the pressure has released, and the Float Valve has dropped, turn the lid to unlock it and lift it open.
The Split Peas will have pretty much disintegrated. Using a pair of tongs, remove the Ham Hock from the soup and set it aside. You’ll need to put it back in again later. But for now, you just need it out of the way.
(This step is optional). Use an Immersible Hand Blender and put it in the soup mixture. Give it a few pulses to blend the soup into a smooth creamy texture. Now add the chopped carrots, potatoes and ham to the soup. Add some salt and pepper as well if you wish.
Replace the Ham Hock back in. And shut the lid again. (Don’t let the soup sit idle for too long because it will thicken as it sits and keeps warm. If it becomes too thick, add water or chicken stock.)
Program the pressure cooker to cook for another 5-minutes.
If the soup mixture is too thick, the machine might have a hard time building up pressure because the thick mixture might be over-heating at the bottom of the pot. If this happens (which it did for me), the machine will just beep fairly soon and put itself on Keep Warm. Don’t worry, leave the machine alone. It would have built up enough pressure in that time so just let it sit and drop down in pressure automatically. The carrots and potatoes are cut up small enough that it should cook fairly quick. If not, you can always open up the lid, thin the soup down a bit and restart it back up.
When the soup is finished. Serve while its hot with some butter toast or croutons. If you are stuck on the ice planet, Hoth…this is a perfect hot and hearty soup to keep you warm on the icy cold nights. But Yoda enjoys it almost every night. He even attempted to teach Luke Skywalker the recipe during his training on Dagohba but Luke had other things on his mind.
(Update: A lot of comments mentioning that the Elite model says not to cook split peas. Well, I like living on the wild side so I totally forgot about that part in the instruction manual. Nothing happened. Unless you’re making a huge full pot, then sputtering may happen, but this recipe was sputter-free.)