Monday, October 10, 2011

Split Pea Soup

There are two things you shoud know about me.

1. I am a huge football fan. I will watch the Green Bay Packers play whenever their games are televised. Since we fall within the NFC North region, and they are the defending Superbowl champs, that means I see a lot of games!

2. Because of Thing 1., that means that I don't usually spend a lot of time cooking on Sunday. But people still have to eat. So in the fall and winter, I tend to rely on my crock pot quite a bit!

This week was no exception. This Sunday my house was loud with the sound of football cheers (and, from my husband the Vikings fan, a lot of "Awww"s and "NOOOO!!"s) and smelled of Creamy, Cheesy Chip Dip and Split Pea Soup.

This has got to be one of the easiest soups ever. First, pick your favorite vegetables and cut them up into bite-sized pieces. I used onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, and parsnips. I also minced some garlic.

Sprinkle the split peas over the top. I used 1/4 lb. of yellow split peas and 1/4 lb. of green (about a quarter of a bag each.) In the future, I would add more peas--probably increase to half a bag apiece. The written recipe below reflects that.

Bay leaves, fresh thyme, and pepper will flavor the soup. Use your favorite fresh or dried herbs.

I didn't add salt at this point--the next ingredient is plenty salty by itself.

And that ingredient is a ham shank.

Anything hammy (roast, shank, hock, etc.) would be fine here. Just make sure it has a bone, for maximum flavor.

I love ham. But there's just no way to make it look appealing!

I seem to be missing a picture. But at some point, pour in a box of chicken broth. That's the liquid you see here. If you don't have chicken broth, you could use water too.

Now put the lid on the crock pot and go watch the game. How easy was that??

After 5-6 hours, the peas should be cooked fully and the ham should be falling off the bone.

Nab the ham shank and pull all the meat off.

Return the ham to the crock pot and serve your soup! Just a little peeling and chopping, and you've got a pot of soup that will stay ready for you to eat for the rest of the day!

Recipe: Split Pea Soup

3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 lb. split peas (one bag)
2 bay leaves
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 ham shank
1 box chicken broth (or water)

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Turn on high. Let cook for 5-6 hours, or until peas are cooked through. Pull meat off ham shank and return to the soup. Serve.

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