Hearty, warming split pea soup is my favorite soup in the winter. My take on this cold-weather classic couldn’t be easier-just set it and forget it. My mother always told me that potatoes contribute starchiness and silky thickness to split pea soup, while the sweet carrots and salty ham (optional) balance out the peas’ light, earthy flavor. Leftovers fare well in the freezer, so say hello to your new favorite make-ahead soup. Garnish with parsley and additional pepper, if desired.
1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped peeled carrot
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds smoked ham hocks (optional)
6 cups water
½ cup light sour cream
- Layer peas and next 9 ingredients (through ham) in order listed in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Gently pour 6 cups water over top. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- Remove ham hocks from slow cooker. Remove meat from bones, and cut into bite-sized pieces; discard skin and bones. Discard bay leaf.
- Coarsely mash soup to desired consistency, adding additional hot water to thin, if desired. Stir in chopped ham. Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.
Recipe adapted from Deb Wise