1 pound pigtails (cured or salted)
1 pound dried green split peas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
1 bundle fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
Sour Cream, for garnish (optional)
Parsley, for garnish (optional)
Serve with white rice or crusty Italian bread, for garnish (optional)
In a large pot, boil the pigtails with 2 quarts of water for 1 ½ to 2 hours, changing the water every ½ hour with fresh water to remove most of the salt and soften the pigtails.
In a large pot, combine the split peas with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (You could also just soak the peas overnight in cold water).
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers and cook. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Pour the split peas and water over the vegetables and stir. Add more water if necessary to cover the peas. Boil the soup for 20 minutes. Add the pigtails and cook until peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with dollops of sour cream and parsley, or over rice or crusty Italian bread. Cook with soul. Eat with pleasure!