My idea of cold-weather comfort food is a bowl of thick split pea soup accompanied by a hunk of warm kielbasa tucked between slices of fresh bread. From September to May, my freezer is seldom without a container or two of this old favorite to thaw at a moment's notice.
Although the following recipe has been around my family for years, originally it probably came off some package of split peas. It calls for few ingredients, but uses long, slow cooking to bring out their best flavor.
I make a potful on weekends when I'm going to be around home for a few hours doing other things, and freeze whatever I can refrain from gobbling down immediately. It's an ideal recipe for utilizing a leftover ham bone, but when none is available, meaty ham hocks will do the trick.
SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 ham bone or 3 ham hocks
2 quarts water
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped