This is one of my husband’s favorite soups. It’s perfect for cold days because it has rich, earthy flavors and the added fiber and thickness fills and warms you up quickly. Prep for this soup is very easy; it can either be prepared in a slow cooker or cast iron pot, and requires no blending. Only use a regular pot if you are willing to keep stirring and checking in on it every 15 minutes so that the bottom will not burn.
*Be sure to hydrate your split peas the night before you plan to make the soup. Simply pour peas into a large bowl and fill 3/4 of the way with water. Water should be a few inches above the peas. Let sit for 6-12 hours undisturbed.
- 1 bag (1lb) dried split peas (do not use canned, they are too sweet)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, minced
- 48-64 fl oz chicken broth or stock
- 1-2 smoked ham hocks (skin scored), OR 1 cup diced smoked ham
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat pot on medium, then add olive oil, minced garlic, minced carrot, and chopped onion until tender, stirring every few minutes. Add hydrated peas and 48 fl oz chicken broth to pot – liquid should cover peas completely, if not, add more broth. Submerge ham hocks or smoked diced ham and bay leaf in pot. Bring soup to a boil, then turn down heat to low, and cover with a lid. Let cook for about 1-1.5 hours until peas are completely incorporated and soup is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you are using a slow cooker, add all ingredients at the same time, making sure that liquid just submerges ingredients. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Remove ham bone and thoroughly stir soup before serving.