This is one of those dishes that never looks that pretty. I mean, pureed split peas look like...well, pureed split peas.
However, if you are looking for an old fashioned, modest dish that requires very little effort but produces a soup that is full of flavor that will have people coming back for more, definitely give this a try. We always save our ham bones from dinner to make this. Simply wrap them well in plastic wrap and stick them in a Ziplock baggie and then freeze until you need them.
I usually make this in a heavy cast iron pot on the stove top but thought I would give it a whirl in my crockpot. It worked like a charm.
Crockpot Split Pea Soup
2 ham hocks (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 lb split green peas
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
3 large celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
Rinse the ham hocks and place them in the crockpot.
(You will need a fairly large crockpot for this recipe!!)
Place remaining ingredients in crockpot. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and the peas are mushy. 4 - 5 hours on high, 7 - 8 on low.
Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove ham hocks to a bowl until they are cool enough to handle.
While you are waiting for them to cool; use an immersion blender and puree ingredients in crockpot until smooth. (If you don't have an immersion blender then puree in a blender or food processor in small batches until smooth. BE CAREFUL!! It is hot!)
Shred the meat off the ham bones and stir it into the soup. (Discard bones)
I only had crackers to serve with this but it is amazing with cornbread or buttermilk biscuits.
Yes, it is supposed to be that thick.
If, however, you don't like it that thick then you can thin it with some chicken broth. If you freeze your leftovers, or store them in the fridge for a couple of days, when you reheat it you may need to add a little chicken broth as well.