"adapted from German Home Cooking by Dr. August Oetke"
extra virgin olive oil
bacon, finely chopped
onion, finely chopped
celery rib, finely chopped
carrot, peeled and finely chopped
celery root, peeled and finely chopped
flat leaf parsley
split peas, rinsed and drained
smoked ham hocks, about 2 lbs
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Place oil and bacon in a 6-qt. pot and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add onions, celery, carrots, and celery root, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour; cook for 3 minutes.
Tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine; add to pot with peas, ham hocks, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until peas are very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat. Discard herbs. Transfer hocks to a plate to let cool; pull off and chop the meat; discard fat, skin, and bones. Stir meat into soup, season with salt and pepper, and ladle soup into bowls.