Split Pea Soup with Ham II (Slow-Cooker)

Serves 2 five times

This is a wonderful pea soup. Freezes readily.

Use ham shanks or hocks that are not heavily smoked. Too much smoke flavor overpowers the fine taste of this excellent soup.

10 cups chicken broth

2 pounds dried green split peas, rinsed, drained and picked over

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 small carrots, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, diced small

½ red bell pepper, diced small

4 cloves garlic, diced small (about 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon)

1 tbsp, fresh minced thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

2 dried bay leaves

2 small ham hocks or shanks (1 ¼ pounds total) with ½ inch slits cut in skin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Carefully pour broth into a 5 to quart slow cooker.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Cover and cook on high until peas are creamy, about 6 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove ham hocks and allow to cool. Remove skin and excess fat. Remove meat from bones and dice. Set meat aside.
  5. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the peas in the cooker. Return the meat to the cooker. Correct the seasoning.

Serve with: Croutons, Croustades.

Source: Everyday Foods, a Martha Stewart magazine

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