Crock Pot Split Pea Soup. Nomz.

When my grandmother was younger, she would make and freeze the our family’s favorite soups and serve them to us when we came to visit.  She has since moved to an apartment with a much smaller kitchen and become less mobile. That happens at 92.  One of the things we miss most is her split pea soup.

She gave me her recipe, and I have used it in the past.  It is fantastic.  However, I’m a busy lady with all of my extracurriculars and I don’t have the patience to stir a pot for an inordinate amount of time; I still want homemade split pea soup though.  Dilemma.

Christmas Day was held at my brother’s and my sister-in-law made her famous Crock Pot ham.  It is delicious.  She won’t tell us the recipe.  But, at the end of the night, she offered that I take some of the ham home.  I initially declined as we aren’t good at eating leftovers, but then I had pea soup pop to mind and I asked if I could have the bone.  We collected the bone and a couple of slices of ham and went on our merry way.

I still didn’t want to stand and watch a pot, but at least I had a little more time.  Ugh. Don’t wanna.

Then genius, or the creative capacity that comes from the mix of desire and laziness,  struck!  How about I take the ham bone, a bit of bouillon (I prefer homemade vegetable), a bag of split peas, a couple of cut up carrots and some boiling water to cover and toss it all into the crock pot?  And that is precisely what happened.

Crock Pot Split Pea Soup

  • a ham bone
  • Tb homemade bouillon or 1 cube of bouillon of choicesplit pea soup, pre-soup
  • 2 Lg carrots, cut up into discs or half-moons, just make them roughly the same size
  • 1 bag of dried split peas, rinsed
  • boiling water to cover the peas and carrots, the bone may stick up a little
  • pepper, to taste (wait on the salt as ham is often quite salty!)
  • chunked up ham, optional, put in a the end
  • secret ingredient: read on…

I put the ingredients together and put on high for about 4 hours.  I checked on it periodically to see how it was coming along and give it a stir here and there.  I noted that the soup was completed when the peas were self-pureeing as I stirred and delight spread at this unexpected development as using an immersion blender is just about the worst in my book and I was still dreading that step.

At this point, I turned off the crock pot to let the contents cool enough for dishing out and removed the ham bone, making certain to remove any of the ham still attached to the bone and mix it into the soup.  I also added in cubed ham at this point, but unless you really like the bits of meat in there, you can be happy with just the peas and flavors presented by the ham bone.

Now here was the second bit of inspiration for the day.  I had baked bacon earlier in the day and had a big pan of solidified renderings staring at me.  Bacon makes everything better, and what is bacon fat but the bulk of the flavor of bacon?  I already had a jar of renderings I was working from and didn’t plan to save this batch, so I took a spoon and loaded it up with about a tablespoon of bacon fat and stirred it into the soup.

I smiled gently to myself with great satisfaction.

The thing with soups is that, in my opinion, they most often taste the best the next day.  The flavors have a chance to marry and the texture, at least for something like pea soup, is always better as it gets a chance to thicken and gel. The collagen from the bone helps with the thickening as well.  So, I ladled the split pea soup into containers and put them into the fridge.

P.S.  If you choose to make the homemade bouillon from the linked recipe, please remember that you can omit the cilantro.  Both A.D. and I are ‘tasters‘ and that means that for us, cilantro makes everything taste like dish soap.  If you’re not sure whether cilantro acts like that for you, take a bit of the herb first and see for yourself!

Marie Wheeler