Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soup Time! (The Best Split Pea Soup Ever!)

Once again, Spring is toying with us.  So much rain, but it feels like an Autumn rain, with cold gusty wind.   When that happens, I need soup.  Lots of soup.   Yesterday, I made our favorite soup - Split Pea, but I did it a bit differently than I have in the past.   The result was so incredibly good that I just have to share it today.  It was so good that although I'd planned to freeze part of it for another meal,  that isn't going to happen, because both the Big Guy and the Little Guy took it for their lunch today, and at 10am, I'm already dreaming of it for my lunch too.  (even colder and windier today.  Need.More.Soup.) 

This time, I used a meaty ham bone left over from Easter dinner to flavor it and for a bit of meat.  I am convinced though, that the type of meat used isn't that important.  I've made this soup successfully using ham, bacon, smoked sausage, sausage, smoked turkey....just any kind of meat that will add a smoky depth to it seems to work fine.  We don't use a lot of meat in this recipe, just enough for flavor and to make it interesting.

Before I share the recipe though, I wanted to share a link with you for a blog that I was really "digging" this morning.   I am getting so itchy to start planting in my garden, but here in Michigan, that just hasn't been possible yet.   I have a friend who lives South though, and she has provided such an awesome pictorial progression of her raised bed garden on her blog, that I just had to share it!   Makes me even hungrier to get started on mine!   Plus, I just love the name of her blog.  :-)   Check it out: Where The Heart Says Ahh...

The most wonderful thing about this soup is that it goes in the crockpot all at once.  Just throw everything in, and let it go!   And just for clarification - the ham was without nitrites/nitrates added, and the beef stock was homemade bone broth.

Crockpot Split Pea Soup

1 lb. green split peas
1 meaty ham bone, or 8 ounce of some type of smoked meat, or a smoked turkey thigh
3 pints beef stock.  (seriously - I've always used chicken stock, but when I went to pull it out of the freezer, I was out, but I had beef, so used that instead.  Even better!)
3 cups mix of chopped carrots, celery, onion (I use what I have - sometimes it's more carrot, sometimes more onion or celery - just chop it all together to make 3 cups.
2 russet potatoes, peeled somewhat and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled somewhat, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste  (I add a little at the beginning, and then to taste if needed at the end.)
2 bay leaves

Throw all of this in the crockpot, and cook on high for 6 hours or so.  It's hard for me to know, because I have this REALLY old slow-cooker (looks somewhat like this: )  and I know it gets hotter than most traditional crockpots.  I love it though - I've had mine for over 20 years and it's still going strong!

Anyway, what I do is lift the lid and give it a stir every hour or so, and then after about 6 hours, I take out the meat (if it's in one chunk) and shred it and put it back in.
This makes a thick, hearty soup.  If you like your soup thinner, you might want to thin it out with a bit of broth at the end, also.   We had ours with a non-grain cheesy biscuit, but sometimes we have it with toast and honey too.  

I've linked this post to Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet. Lots of other real food recipes there, check them out!
Also linked at Fight Back Friday with The Food Renegade.  Let's all fight back against non-foods!


  1. I just have to tell you that I find humor in that pea soup is the traditional food for Fat Tuesday in Finland, and you're making it with the remnants of your Easter ham. I do like the ham in my soup, and in a pinch I'll even make it with ground beef. Last time, I made it with water and beef base instead of stock.

  2. with a title like this, i just had to check this out! sounds lovely, i'll try this out next time (:

  3. Shu Han - thanks for stopping by! What I love about this soup is that it's so versatile. Just use what you have!