2cupsdried yellow split peas-one 450 g package, rinsed and picked over
1lbcooked ham-cut into cubes, about 3 cups
1tbspfresh thyme-or 1 tsp dried, plus more for garnish (optional)
7cupsunsalted chicken stock
3/4tspsalt-or to taste
Place all ingredients (except salt and butter) in a 6 quart slow cooker on low setting, stirring to combine. Cook 7-9 hours. 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 stock to loosen.
Every model of slow cooker is different. For me, I cooked this soup 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.
This split pea soup thickens up considerably as it cools. If you are re-heating on the stove top, you can enjoy as is or add a little more chicken stock to thin out.
Can you freeze split pea soup? Yep! It freeze beautifully! Once cooled, you can portion up into vacuum seal bags, press flat (so you have a 'sheet' of soup in a bag) and freeze to enjoy at a later 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 'em up and throw in the pot. They have so much flavour!
Cut the celery, carrot and parsnip into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. 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.