So you cook a Sunday ham, and are left with the bone. That night the temperature plummets (yet again), your kids get sick, and your husband is about to leave on business for a few days. Then, you realize there is no other alternative than to make split pea soup and plenty of it to last into the week.
That was my thought process last Monday. This soup saved dinner, and a few lunches, while we were housebound, nursing fevers and the sniffles. It came together quickly – a literal dump and stir of ingredients in the slow-cooker – and simmered all day while we snuggled under quilts and read books.
While my boys may have been initially put off by the colour, their spoons were scraping the bottom of their bowls before long. Split pea soup just feels right this time of the year, especially when paired with skillet cornbread.
Did you know? Don’t salt the soup for two reasons: it will toughen your split peas and the ham bone imparts enough salt on its own. If you have an excessively salty ham bone, add one chopped and peeled potato to the soup. It will absorb the excess salt.
Dried peas have a reputation for going stale and stubbornly refusing to soften. As a general rule, if they haven’t begun to break down in the first 20 minutes on the stove (or the first couple of hours in the slow cooker), toss them and begin again.
Don’t be tempted to use that old bag you’ve been storing in the back of the pantry since Y2K. Make this recipe with a new batch and all will be well.
I like my split pea soup to be strapping and stocky, full of tender morsels of ham and diced carrot, not a thin puréed thing. This soup was robust and full of flavour, thanks to that ham bone. The recipe is adapted from the fabulous cookbook 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O’Dea.
|Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham||
- 1 ham bone
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound green split peas, rinsed (about 2 heaping cups)
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground savoury
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, place the ham bone and the chopped ham. Add the onion, split peas, water, and broth.
- Measure in the mustard, savoury, carrots and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5. Peas should be soft.
- Remove the ham bone and taste the soup. Season with salt if desired.
- Serve as is or puree for a smoother soup.
Are you craving soup?