Crockpot Split Pea Soup
2 lbs of dried split peas (I buy two 16 oz bags)
1 red pepper
12 oz bag of broccoli slaw*
1/2 cup chopped onions (I just use frozen chopped onions)
16 oz diced ham pieces**
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
12 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1. Put the split peas into a large bowl and fill the bowl with water, enough to cover the split peas. Running your fingers over and around the split peas to loosen any white coverings still on the split peas. (They’ll float to the top of the water, making it easy for you to pick them out.) Drain the peas and sort through to pick out any stones that might be residing within the group of split peas. Put the picked over split peas into a 6 quart slow cooker/crockpot.
2. Using a food processor, chop up the red pepper, zucchini, squash, and broccoli slaw into tiny pieces and add them to the split peas.
3. Add the onions, ham pieces, garlic, black pepper and thyme. Mix well.
4. Pour in the broth and stir carefully. Your Crockpot will be filled almost to the top.
5. Stick the two bay leaves into the center of the soup, and cook on high for 8 hours. (Note: During the cooking, the spices will rise to the top. Some time during the 8 hours, after the halfway mark, stir the soup and recover to resume cooking.)
6. When you’re ready to serve, remove the bay leaves and stir the soup well, smashing the peas a bit with your spoon. (Note: My children love to put some reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese into this soup.)
* If you can’t find the broccoli slaw, simply chop up a carrot or two and half a cup of broccoli.
** My grocery store sells packaged really finely diced ham pieces. If you can’t find something similar, simply use some leftover turkey ham from a previous meal, just make sure to dice it into small pieces so the flavor will incorporate into the soup. If you’re vegan, you can simply omit the meat altogether. To get a similar flavor, though, when you serve the split pea soup, put a spoonful of diced, cooked, smoked tofu or veggie burger into the bowl of soup.