Your crockpot does all the work for this warm and comforting Split Pea Soup, made hearty (but not heavy) by the addition of diced ham, potatoes, and carrots.
We've been pretending around here. Pretending that it actually feels like fall. But we're not pretending that a busy fall schedule has descended upon us -- noooo, that's reality, folks -- so I've been relying on my slow cooker, now more than ever.
And what's easier to whip up in the crock pot than a warm, comforting, perfect-for-fall (or perfect when you're pining for fall) soup? I particularly love throwing dried beans -- or in this case, split peas -- in the crock pot. Say hello to a supper that's hearty (and healthy!) but not heavy.
It also makes me a happy camper to be able to throw in various other vegetables, which end up cooking down enough to be somewhat incognito. I shred my carrots, rather than dicing them, to further assist their melt-into-the-soup action (and now that I'm thinking about it, maybe that's why my should be greenish split pea soup has an orange undertone?). All of this simply means that my kids eat their veggies without a fuss and I don't have to worry about extraneous vegetable side dishes to go with dinner that night. Win, win!
Feel free to increase or change up the veggies in this soup, by the way. You could toss in some celery, onions...whatever floats your boat. I prefer leaving those out in lieu of extra garlic, but slow cooker soups like this are infinitely customizable, so add whatever makes it appealing to your family. Have I mentioned that this recipe is also a great way to use up leftover holiday ham?
For most slow cooker recipes calling for broth, I use my old standby: Organic Better Than Bouillon chicken (or turkey, or beef, or vegetable) base. As I've mentioned in other recipe posts, it's pretty salty, so I initially use less than called for and then adjust to taste. However, seldom do I feel the need to add more salt at the end when using Better Than Bouillon. If you've never heard of this Better Than Bouillon of which I speak, make haste to this popular post where I detail why I love it so much. (And by the way, I'm not being compensated for waxing poetic about BTB...I just really think it's great stuff!)
I hope that this Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup is yet another recipe that you'll be able to add to your arsenal of easy, tasty, healthy meals that will please your family while fitting into your busy schedule!
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- 16 ounces dried green split peas, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups diced ham
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 8 cups chicken OR vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup fresh parsley, minced (plus extra for garnish)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place dried split peas, ham, potatoes, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth. Stir in bay leaf and parsley. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- You can dice your carrots if you prefer more noticeable bites of carrot, but I like shredding mine because they practically melt into the soup and my kids don't spend time trying to avoid them.
- The amount of liquid in this recipe should be more than sufficient, but any time you cook a dried bean recipe in the crock pot for the first time, you'll want to check your water/broth level every once in awhile to make sure too much hasn't been soaked up by your beans/peas. If it has, just add more water/broth and stir. Some crock pots run hotter than others.
- I use 8 cups of water and add a big tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon chicken base in lieu of chicken broth. Just be aware that BTB is pretty salty, so start with a conservative amount and add more if needed. I usually don't end up adding salt at the end when I use BTB.
Adapted from Whole Foods Market