It may not technically be winter yet, but I think old man Winter is definitely stirring. It has not only been hovering around freezing here, but is has also been wet and windy as well. Yup, you get chilled to the bone the second you peek your head out of the door. This kind of weather just begs that you to have a big old pot of soup simmering away on the stove…say like this Split Pea with Ham Soup. Thick, rich and hearty, it is comfort food at it’s finest.
I was inspired to make up a batch of this soup when I found myself with a ham bone after the Thanksgiving festivities. I don’t know about most of you folks, but we can’t manage to have Thanksgiving with just turkey. Nope…there has got to be ham as well. (and oysters since I grew up on an island…). I used to just toss that ham bone out without a second thought. But now I know that was really a mistake. The ham bone gives this soup such an amazing flavour and to be honest contributed quite a bit of meat. I thought we had pretty much picked it clean, but after it spend many hours simmering away, meat was just falling off of that bone. Which brings me to the other fantastic thing about this soup. It is incredibly easy to prepare. I just put all of the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and eight hours later, after a wee bit of immersion blending, dinner was served!
No fuss, no muss, and a big payoff. The husband says it is the best Split Pea Soup he has ever tasted. So there you have it. Christmas is right around the corner. If you find yourself with a ham bone left over, you’ll know just what to do!
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
recipe slightly adapted from: Garnish With Lemon
- 1 (16-ounce) package dried split peas, rinsed
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 leftover ham bone (or 3 ham hocks – 1 1/2 lbs. Store bought ham hocks don’t have a lot of meat left on them, though they provide a lot of flavour. If you want a meaty soup you might need to supplement it with a little extra ham.)
Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker; gently stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Or if you are short on time, cook on high for 4 hours.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup and discard. Remove ham bone from soup and pull remaining meat from the bone. It should fall off quite easily. Set meat aside.
At this point, you can either remove a few cups of the soup, puree in the blender and return to the slow cooker or use your immersion blender for 10 seconds to puree the soup slightly. Stir the reserved ham back into the soup and serve warm.
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)