It may surprise you to know that it's actually quite easy to make a delicious split pea soup. All you really need is the peas, a ham hock, a few veggies, and a slow cooker. Get all this started in the morning, let it cook slowly all day, and a comforting dinner is served.
As this recipe proves, split pea soup is anything but boring. This soup gets additional flavor from parsnip and thyme along with a little pepper. While optional, the parsley and crouton garnish will set it over the top and create a perfect meal the entire family will love.
- 1 package (1 pound) dried split peas
- 1 cup carrot (sliced 1/2-inch thick)
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup parsnip (diced)
- 1/2 cup celery with leaves (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups water
- 2 large ham hocks (smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Garnish: parsley (chopped)
- Garnish: croutons
- In a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, combine everything except ham hocks, salt, and garnish.
- Add ham hocks, submerging them in the mixture.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, until peas are very soft.
- Remove ham hocks and skim fat from surface of the soup.
- Trim fat from hocks then cut meat from the bones and chop or shred; stir into the soup.
- Add salt to taste and mash slightly, if you want a thicker soup.
- Ladle pea soup into 6 bowls. Garnish each serving with croutons and chopped parsley if desired.
Choosing Your Peas
Split peas are simply dried peas that are cut in half. You will find both yellow and green varieties, though green is more common. The yellow split peas have a mild flavor and they do make an interesting soup as well.
The magic of split pea soup is that the peas are so small that they melt into a thick slurry as they cook. This creates the comforting texture we enjoy about this traditional dish. Their size also makes them easy to cook, which is why there's no need to soak them like you would dry beans.
More Comforting Soups to Enjoy
- Crock Pot Split Pea Soup With Bacon - No ham? No problem. If you have a few slices of bacon, you can make a delicious split pea soup as well.
- Split Pea Soup With Spicy Andouille Sausage - You can make this recipe in the slow cooker or opt for the faster stovetop method. Either way, the spicy sausage makes a tasty addition.
- Hearty White Bean Soup - Leave some meat on your ham bones and save it to make a delicious bean soup next week.