We’ve had a bit of a Tasty Tuesday hiatus in recent months, but today we’re back with a bang!

The latest cookbook from our friends at Real Simple (who also happened to name this blog as “Best Parenting/Family Blog” last year) is out today. We got our hands on an advance copy of Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals and are able to share with you a few of our favorite recipes from this tasty tome.

For today’s recipe, I selected something perfect for the season: hot, hearty comfort food. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or just want to warm up, a nice cup of homemade soup can do wonders, don’t you think?

Classic Split-Pea Soup
Hands-on time: 15 minutes | Total time: 3 hours, 45 minutes | Serves 6

1 ham hock
2 32-ounce containers low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound green split peas
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt

Rinse the ham hock and place it in a large saucepan or Dutch oven along with the broth, split peas, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the ham hock to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle, at least 10 minutes. Shred the meat and stir it into the soup.

Tip: Look for ham hocks in the meat case, near the bacon. If you can’t find one, substitute 1/2 pound diced bacon. Fry it in the saucepan before adding the broth.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals, edited by Lygeia Grace and Kate Merker, published by Real Simple Books, 2009.

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