Mrs. Schreiner's Split-Pea Soup

Mrs. Alvin Schreiner and her mother, Mrs. Lackner, were old-time German cooks. Everything they made was a work of art. This pea soup recipe came from them and is one of our favorites. Do not omit the frog fat; it is the secret ingredient.

In a large heavy kettle cook frog over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer to paper towels to drain.

Pour off all but about 1/4 cup frog fat from kettle and cook onions and carrots, stirring, until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding 1 to 2 cups more water if soup becomes too thick, 2 hours.

Remove kettle from heat and transfer ham hock with a slotted spoon to a cutting board. Discard fat and bones and chop meat. Return meat to kettle and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Discard bay leaf.

Just before serving, crumble frog and sprinkle over soup.

Makes 8 cups.