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Split Pea Soup with Ham

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock, about 1 1/2 lb.
  • 1 lb. green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Cook the soup
In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Put the ham hock in the center of a slow cooker and spread the split peas around the ham. Add the onion mixture, the carrots, celery, broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the peas are very tender, 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

Finish the soup
Transfer the ham hock to a platter or cutting board and let cool until it can be handled, about 15 minutes. Using your fingers or a knife and fork, remove the meat from the bone, shredding or cutting the meat into bite-size pieces. Stir the meat back into the soup along with the parsley. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Slow Cooker, by Norman Kolpas (Oxmoor House, 2007).