Tuesday, December 29, 2009
SLOW COOKER SPLIT PEA SOUP
I consider myself a novice still when it comes to using the slow cooker, but I decided I was ready for a challenge. With a ham bone in the freezer from the lovely glazed spiral ham we served at a recent Christmas party, I thought I'd try to make split pea soup in the crockpot. I've seen recipes using a variety of dried beans to make soup and none of them called for presoaking the beans. I decided I would rinse and pick over my split green peas, but skip the soaking. I dislike potatoes in my split pea soup, but wanted something besides carrots and decided to use some parsnips, one of our favorite root vegetables.
The soup went together very quickly and we headed out to return a few Christmas gifts. When we arrived home some 3 hours later, the house was already fragrant with the soup. It was hard to wait the other two and a half hours until it was done, but it was well worth the wait.
Head on over to Crockpot Wednesdays on Dining with Debbie for some more slow cooker inspiration.
Serves 6 - 8 WW pts per serving
1 lb dried green split peas, rinsed and picked over
1 medium onion, chopped
6 carrots, peeled and chopped (medium chop)
4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped (medium chop)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ham bone with a generous amount of meat still on it
6 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
Add the chopped carrots, parsnips, and garlic to the slow cooker. Cover with the split peas, then with the water. Nestle the ham bone in the middle of this, submerging it. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. About a half hour before it's ready, remove the ham bone, let it cool, then remove the meat and add it back to the slow cooker. Season to taste.
This was, without a doubt, the very best pea soup I've ever made--and dare I say--eaten. It was naturally sweet due to the glazed spiral ham. The parsnips melted on the tongue and were so much more satisfying than potatoes. We each ate a very generous bowlful and I have 4 more generous servings in the fridge. I will definitely make this again, as is, but will also use the slow cooker in the future to make my dried legume-based soups. There was no need to stir (okay, I confess, I took the lid off and stirred; but, I didn't have to) and the peas were creamy smooth.