I love my slow cooker this time of year. It is so fun to load it up with ingredients in the morning before a long and busy day at the studio. And it’s even more fun to walk through the front door after said busy day, to smell your delicious dinner, totally cooked and waiting for you. I always joke that it is the closest I will come to a personal chef.
I honestly haven’t had split pea soup in probably 10 years, my mom used to make it, but I have never made it myself. I saw a beautiful bag of organic split peas when I was shopping at Farmers & Artisans and thought I would buy them and give this a try. I also had two ham hocks in the freezer from our pork share from Sojourner Farms, that I hadn’t known what to do with, this seemed like the perfect dish to use them in. You can easily leave the ham hocks out to make this is vegan.
I have to say, this soup was deliciously filling and very satisfying. The perfect meal for a cool and damp Autumn or Winter night.
[print_this]Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup – Gluten-free with Vegan Option
1 lb of organic dried green split peas
1 large onion, chopped
2 organic celery stalks, chopped
2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ham hocks from a pasture-raised pig, hormone and antibiotic free (skip these to make this vegan)
6 cups of water
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
Fresh ground black pepper
In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes, add in the garlic, cook another minute. Remove from the heat.
Add the peas, cooked vegetables, water and ham hocks to your slow cooker/crock-pot. Stir to combine, add your herbs, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on HIGH 4-5 hours or on LOW 8-10 hours until the peas are soft and the ham falls off the bone. Remove the bones and puree the soup with a blender. Use either an immersion blender or ladle the soup in batches, only filling the blender halfway. Hold down the lid with a towel while blending. Return the pureed soup to the pot. If you wish, add back the meat from the bones. Salt and pepper to taste, serve topped with freshly minced thyme. This soup would be great with homemade toasted croutons on top. [/print_this]