Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Is there anything better than a big pot of steamy, hearty soup on a cold night? Even the smell of soup cooking or warming up on the stovetop helps to chase away the chill. Soups that are full of vegetables, beans, pasta, meat and savory broths are meals in themselves. Add a nice, crusty loaf of warm bread, and you’ve got comfort food at its simplest.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teas minced fresh thyme (1/2 teas dried thyme)
  • 1/9 teas red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lbs green split peas (2 cups), picked over and rinsed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 smoked ham hock, rinsed or smoked turkey
  • 8 ounces ham steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces or turkey pieces
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

Microwave onions, garlic, oil, thyme, and red pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir broth, water, split peas, carrots and bay leaves into slow cooker. Nestle ham hock into slow cooker. Cover and cook until peas are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Remove ham hock, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-sized pieces, discarding skin and bones. Let soup settle 5 minutes, then remove from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves.

Stir in ham steak and shredded ham hock, cover and let cook on high until heated through, about 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

receipe from www.mothernaturenetwork