Split pea soup is a fantastic dinner for a cold, snowy evening. It’s filling, hearty, and flavorful. This soup can be very bland, in both texture and taste. The trick is to get plenty of flavor and texture from the variety of veggies and seasonings and the shredded ham.
My favorite accompaniment is cheddar cheese toasts: Slice a baguette in 1/2″ slices and place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle cheddar cheese generously on the bread slices and bake for a few minutes in a 400F oven until the cheese is melted and toasty.
Note that this can be made vegetarian if you use veggie broth and omit the ham.
What you need:
- 16 oz. (1 lb.) bag dried split peas, rinsed and picked over
- 2 smoked ham hocks (optional)
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 2″ pieces
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut in 2″ pieces (optional – if leaving out, increase carrots by 2)
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts, finely chopped and well-cleaned
- 4 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. each: unsalted butter and olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T. parsley
- 1 t. kosher salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/2 t. paprika
- 1/4 t. thyme
- 1/8 t. cloves
- 4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 c. water
- cutting board and knife
- measuring cups and spoons
- 5 quart or larger slow cooker
Time: 15 minutes prep + 6-8 hours in the slow cooker.
Multiplying the recipe: You can, if you have a larger slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham:
In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil on medium-high. Add the aromatics (leeks, celery, onions, garlic) and saute until the onions are translucent and everything is softened, 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a large slow cooker, place the split peas, ham hocks, carrots and parsnips, sauteed aromatics, and seasonings. Pour broth and water over everything and stir. Cook on low 6-8 hours, until the peas are softened and veggies are tender. Remove the ham hocks and shred the meat, discarding the bones and fat. Return the shredded ham to the slow cooker and stir.