Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Split Pea Soup: Delicious Comfort Food

Pea soup in one of those wonderful, hearty foods that make you feel really good on a cold wet day. It also has the benefit of being very cheap and easy to make in a crock pot (even cheaper is the ham is from leftovers). This dish does take several hours to cook but being a crock pot recipe you can throw it together in the morning and just leave it simmering on low all day, it doesn't need constant attention.

I saved the bone form the ham I made last week to make this soup, it's a great way to use up leftover ham.

  • 2 cups dried split peas
  • 1 ham bone, and/or leftover ham
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 cups water
  • Bay leaf
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
How to make it:
1: Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until transluscent.
2: Add peas, ham, stock, water, lemon juice, and bay leaf to your crock pot.
3: Season with Italian seasoning mix, salt,  and pepper to taste
4: Simmer on low 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the peas break down and the soup thickens (actual time may vary depending on your crock pot, however pea soup can't really be overcooked so err on the side of more time)
5: Serve with thick slices of bread or fresh biscuits.

Save a little  time:If you need to save some cooking time try this. Soak the peas overnight (or while your at work) in about 6 cups of water. Drain excess water before using. Reduce the amount of water you add to the crock pot to 3 cups. This can cut the cooking time by about 1/3.

1: Try making this with turkey ham or your favorite smoked sausage
2: This recipe can easily be made vegetarian as well. Leave out the ham, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, and swap the chicken stock for vegetable. It's just as delicious.
3: If you don't like sauteing the onion and garlic you can substitute some onion and garlic powder instead but you won't get as rich a taste.

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