Split Pea Ham Soup

We served ham at Christmas this year and consequently have a meaty ham bone in the freezer. This happy circumstance calls for Split Pea Ham soup!  This recipe is from the Knack Soup Classics cookbook, a series that I like for its appealing easy-to-read layout, quick cooking summaries and yummy photos.  Oh, and the recipes are pretty good too.

This hearty soup is easy to make as it simmers in a slow cooker all day.  Chop the vegetables in the morning, combine with the rest of the ingredients and (presto!) dinner will be ready when you return in the evening.  If you have a smaller slow cooker, you may have to use fewer vegetables to get everything to fit.  Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a spinach salad.

Split Pea Ham Soup
Adapted from the Knack Soup Classics cookbook

1 lb. green split peas
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 meaty ham bone (check for gluten ingredients in the glaze)
3 carrots, thinly sliced (you could substitute parsnips)
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 potatoes, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (check for gluten)
5-6 cups water
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf

Rinse and sort the split peas.  Place in a 6 quart slow cooker.

Add all the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.

When all the vegetables and peas are tender, remove the ham bone.  Cut the meat off the bone and return to the slow cooker.  Discard the bone and the bay leaf.

If desired, you can ladle out a portion of the soup to a blender and puree.  Add the puree back to the rest of the soup for a thicker consistency.  Otherwise, serve hot.  I like to add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl.

Yum! Good and good for you!