I love having crock pot meals on cold winter days. After playing hard in the cold and snow, you come inside to wonderful and inviting smells. Split Pea Soup is a family favorite and I wanted to develop a version that was healthier and gluten-free.
Our old crock pot was 17 years old and had reached the end of it's useful life. I decided to replace with with a cinnamon red Kitchen Aid slow cooker. I needed a family pleasing meal for it's maiden voyage. Since winter has finally arrived in New York, a nice body warming soup is in order. I found a bag of green peas in the pantry and a petite Niman Ranch ham in the freezer. Yes, split pea soup would be wonderful on a cold day.
This recipe makes enough for left overs. These came in handy after we came inside from trying to double dutch in 26 degree weather in our winter gear. The kids hugged the radiator in the kitchen while I warmed up the soup. This is perfect body warming food.
1 (16 oz) bag of dried split green peas
2 quarts of water
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped ham
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced carrot
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt or to taste
Optional: 1 potato peeled & chopped
Wash the peas and remove any debris. Place peas in a bowl of water to soak overnight. Drain the water off and put the peas in the slow cooker.
Add the other ingredients to the slow cooker. Set on low heat in the morning the soup will be finished cooking by the end of the day. Take a potato masher and mash the vegetables in the soup. This will yield a chunkier soup. If you prefer a smoother soup, cool the soup and blend in batches in your food processer or blender.
Split pea soup is a family favorite at my house and this recipe gets rave reviews from both kids and parents.