December 1, 2011

split pea soup

Here's the truth: my mom used to make split pea soup when I was growing up and I hated it! I also hated ham so that's probably a big part of it. I outgrew almost all of my picky-eater tendencies during culinary school and recently my little brother said that he loves split pea soup so I thought I'd give it another try. This is a really easy recipe that I found from Everyday Food and it's in a slow cooker so that makes it really easy.

I was worried that it would be difficult to find split peas and ham hocks at my grocery store. Nope. I went to Albertson's and found both for under $3 each. You could also make this using a ham bone left over from Christmas dinner (if ham on Christmas is your thing). The only change I would make is not blend it up like I did. My mom did this with her soup so I figured I would blend it a bit with my immersion blender. Well, that "bit" went a little too far and it became cream of split pea soup. Note: don't do that. I served this with rolls and salad on a cold, blustery night with a warm glow reflected by our Christmas tree. Doesn't that sound heavenly? Fall and winter are the best times of year.
10 cups chicken broth
2 pounds dried green split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained
1 medium onion, diced small
4 carrots, diced small
1 celery stalk, diced small
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 dried bay leaves
2 small ham hocks (1 1/4 pounds total), with several 1/2-inch slits cut into skin *see note above
Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil, then carefully pour into a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Add split peas, onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and ham hocks (or leftover ham bone); season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook on high until split peas are creamy, 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove ham hocks from pot. Discard skin and bones; dice meat. Discard bay leaves. Lightly mash peas with the back of a wooden spoon (or not at all, if you like). Return ham to soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now I'm going to eat Candy Cane Joe-Joe ice cream and watch more of my DVR pile up, thank you very much.


  1. Awesome! I think I'm going to be in possession of a ham bone come this weekend, and we have (finally) almost eaten our way through the turkey soup from Thanksgiving, so it's time for another pot, right???

  2. I, also, couldn't stand pea soup and now I like it, but my kiddos don't! Great recipe


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