Monday, January 30, 2012

Crockpot Split Pea Soup

Greetings! This one is a special request from a coworker. She wanted a split pea soup recipe, so a split pea soup recipe she gets! And really, what better on a cold day than a hot bowl of this? (Okay, it's supposed to be in the 60s today, but everyone thinks Colorado winters are wretched. Don't tell! I'm sure it will snow again soon enough)

What you need:
-a bag of split peas
-a ham bone or ham hock-just omit to make vegetarian
-a small onion
-at least a cup of cut up carrots
-a couple celery stalks
-4 cups broth/stock of your choosing-I used beef
-2 bay leaves
-garlic: a spoonful of the pre-diced things, or at least 3 chopped cloves
-salt & pepper

What to do:
-Chop the veggies, dump them and all other ingredients into the crock. Eyeball it and make sure everything is well covered by liquid. I was worried and dumped in an extra cup of water, but I think the ham hock also had a lot of liquid in it and it didn't turn out to be necessary. If you'll be out of the house for a long time, go with a little more liquid, if not, go with less but check on it! If it's too thick, stir in a little water-or milk if right before serving.
-Cook on high for 4-6 hours, low for 8-10. Mine cooked for about 9 hours and was still a little watery so I propped the lid open and let it cook for another hour or so, allowing some liquid to cook off.
-Use a slotted spoon to pull out the ham hock and cut the meat off the bone. The meat is really fatty so I cut most of it away, and put the meat that passed my test back in! There were some other bones in there too-I guess it sort of fell apart-so I made sure to pull them out too.
-If you are serving the type of people (like very small people) who will not know not to eat the bay leaves, you'll want to fish those out too. Most adults can handle it.
-If you like a really smooth soup you could use an immersible blender or blend up small batches in a blender. Mine cooked so long, and I don't mind some lumps, so I didn't bother.
-Serve and enjoy!

Leftovers are great but can be very thick. I like to stir a little milk in with them when I reheat!

How it was/what I'd change:
I was happy with how this turned out, and since I didn't need to eat immediately, the extra liquid wasn't a problem. I'd still rather be on the side of a little extra liquid than not enough since there are dry beans in this one!

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