2cupsdried yellow split peas, rinsed and picked over (one (450 gram) package)
1poundcooked ham, cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
1yellow onion, peeled and diced
3stalkscelery, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
3carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
2parsnip, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1tablespoonfresh thyme(or 1 teaspoon dried, plus more for garnish, if you like)
7cupsunsalted chicken broth
3/4teaspoonsalt(or to taste)
Place all ingredients (except salt and butter) in a 6 quart slow cooker on low setting, stirring to combine.
Cover and cook 7 to 9 hours (time may vary depending on your slow cooker).
When done, stir in salt and butter. Remove and discard bay leaves. Garnish with additional thyme, if desired. Enjoy!Note: this pea soup thickens up considerably as it cools. When reheating, you can always add a little more broth to loosen.
Every model of slow cooker is different. I have a super basic one. It was actually a wedding gift and I treasure it. For me, I cooked this split pea soup with ham on low for 7 hours and it worked out wonderfully. If you need an extra hour or two, no biggie. Also, don't open up the lid if you don't need to because it will increase cooking time.
I use cubes of cooked ham in this recipe. However, if you want to keep it vegetarian, simply omit the ham and use veggie stock. You may have to add a little more salt (depending on your tastes if ham is omitted).
Speaking of ham, the variety or brand you use will vary in salt content. Adjust seasoning (if necessary) to suit you.
If you have a leftover ham bone, feel free to add to the slow cooker to infuse flavour. Just remove when the soup is cooked.
Don't throw away those celery leaves! Chop some up and throw in the pot. They have so much flavour!
Cut the celery, carrot and parsnip into roughly 1/2 inch chunks. This soup cooks for quite some time so you still want a little texture.
Turnip (rutabaga) is pretty popular in Newfoundland split pea soup too. I didn't use it here, but feel free to add some or sub out the parsnip.