Winter and fall weather often mean we are searching for more cost effective meals that are nourishing as well as hearty. Split pea soup is one option when you are searching for an easy meal for your family. Split pea soup can be served by itself with salad or may be served with crackers, as a side dish to a complete meal or may be a meal in itself. Depending on how large a serving you are dishing out, you may find that it is hearty enough for the largest of appetites. If you are planning on serving pea soup as the main part of your meal, consider including ham in the recipe. Simply chop ham into bite sized chunks and add to the crock pot one hour before it is finished.
- 1 pound dry green split peas
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 large onion (1 cup diced)
- 4 large potatoes (2 cups chopped)
- 1/2 lb salt pork
- 8 cups water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 medium Bay Leaves
- You may substitute yellow split peas for green
- You may substitute whole dry green peas
- Salt Pork is optional and can be eliminated
- Diced (or chopped) Ham may be added for flavor
- Use caution when adding salt and pepper as the crock pot intensifies flavors
Step One: Initial Preparation
Chop the salt pork into 2X2 cubes and lace in a pre-heated skillet.
Add onions and saute until the onions are transparent. Stirring frequently will ensure the onions are not scorched.Once the onions are transparent, you may add them to the bottom of the crock pot.
Note: This step is optional. You may cube the salt pork and place it into the crock pot with the vegetables if you desire.
Step Two: Preparing Peas
Using a colander with small holes, empty the bag of split peas into the colander under running cold water. Carefully examine and remove any rocks or other debris from the peas. Remember, that since peas are picked raw and typically by machine it is not unusual to find debris in them. Place into crock pot when finished.
Important note: If you have elected to use whole peas instead of split peas, you may want to soak them overnight. This will keep the recipe from taking longer to cook.
Step Three: Add Vegetables
After preparing carrots and potatoes and rinsing, place them into the crock pot. Immediately empty water into the crock pot and add salt, pepper and bay leaves. Set crock pot to high and cook for six (6) hours.
If you have decided to include ham in your pea soup, you should place it into the crock pot (chopped) at the beginning of the fifth (5th) hour of cooking. You may also place the ham into the crock pot at the beginning of the cooking stage if the ham is pre-cooked. Do not use raw pork.
Step Four: Serving
Remove the bay leaves from the crock pot and the pea soup is ready to serve. Serve piping hot with oyster crackers or Italian bread. If you are serving pea soup as a side dish, this recipe will serve 10 - 12 people. If you are serving it as a main meal, you can serve 6 with this recipe.
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