• 5 qts water
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 1/4 cup split peas
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2-3 potatoes, cubed


Cook ham hocks in water for 2 hours (note: may be too long for smallish ham hocks, maybe try less) Add barley, split peas, celery and onion, simmer 2.5 - 3 hours. Remove ham from hocks, trim off fat. Return meat to pot. Add cubed potatoes and simmer an additional hour or two. Salt and pepper to taste.


Should be a very thick soup. I also usually make three times the recipe as it freezes quite well (although sometimes I need to add a little water when I heat it up)

This recipe dates back at least to Nick’s great-grandmother (Lanny Stell) who was born in Austria in 1908. She came to America when she was 12.