Combine the peas, hocks, carrots, celery and onions in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf together with kitchen string. Add the herb bundle, stock and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer; cover and cook until the peas are tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the hocks to a bowl to cool. Remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the bones, fat and skin. Cut the meat into cubes. Remove the herb bundle from the soup and discard.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender to desired consistency. Heat the soup to a simmer with the meat and season with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls. Serve with the Simple Salad.
Although the salad is prewashed, still give it a soak in a big bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes. Lift the salad out of the water, so any grit is left in the bowl. Put it in a salad spinner; don't pack it in or the greens will get bruised. Spin dry. If you don't have a spinner, lay on a clean towel and gently pat dry.
Put the greens in a big bowl. Drizzle 3 tablespoons (a regular soup spoon is fine ¿ you don't need the measuring type) of olive oil over the greens. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using tongs or 2 forks, toss just enough so that all the greens are lightly dressed. Transfer to 4 salad plates and serve immediately.
What can go wrong here? If the greens are wilted and gloppy, there's probably too much dressing. Add an extra handful of greens and re-toss.
When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.
This recipe has been updated and may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.
Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
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