Smoky Ham Split Pea Soup is a thick, hearty soup with plenty of veggies and chunks of salty ham.
Once the leaves start turning, it’s officially soup season around our house! As much as I enjoy grilling and cooking outdoors, I’m sort of ready to dust off the slow cooker and start making some hearty soups like this Smoky Ham Split Pea Soup I found in my stack of Cooking Light magazines this weekend. Before I made this batch of soup, I’d never had split pea soup so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. This is a thick, hearty soup with plenty of veggies and chunks of salty ham.
To make this recipe, place a pound of dried green split peas in the bottom of the slow cooker and then layer with the classic stew vegetables—potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots. Add spices, top it all with ham hocks, and gently pour in water before cooking for 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH.
Once the cooking time is up, remove the ham hocks and the bay leaf and then stir and mash the vegetables in the slow cooker until you have the desired consistency. I used a potato masher, but you could also use an immersion blender (one of these little gadgets is on my wish list). If the soup is thicker than you personally prefer, just stir in some water or chicken stock to thin it a bit. Remove the meat from the ham hocks, discarding the skin and bones, and then add the chopped ham back to the soup and you’re ready to dish it up!
Smoky Ham Split Pea Soup
- 1 lb. dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 lbs. smoked ham hocks
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- Rinse and drain dried split peas and place in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the peas in the order listed.
- Add the bay leaf and salt and pepper to the slow cooker and top with the ham hocks. Slowly pour the water over all. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4.5 hours).
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove ham hocks and allow to cool slightly before removing the skin and meat from the bones. Chop the meat and discard the skin and bones.
- Using an immersion blender or potato masher, mash vegetables in the slow cooker to desired consistency, leaving some chunks. Add the chopped meat to the soup and stir. Serve soup with a dollop of sour cream.