Oh how cozy is spending a cold, stormy day with your beloved dog while delicious soup is simmering away? How cute is this picture below? I don't know what I would do without my dog. She always listens, never judges and always wants to hang out with me. I love her to pieces. If you've never been in love with a pet, you should really go adopt one today! They make life easier during hard times and more enjoyable during celebration. I love my lab :)
But this post isn't about animals, it's about soup. It's that time of year again and soup should really be on the menu at least once a week. It really doesn't get much simpler than this recipe. If you've never tried split pea soup as an adult, give it a second try. It's amaaaa-zing!
There's a few options for the meat part:
1) If you'd like to have vegetarian split pea soup, feel free to leave out the bacon and maybe up the spices a bit.
2) If you happen to have a left over ham hock from Thanksgiving or something, simply simmer that puppy in the soup until the meat is falling off the bone. The bone adds great flavor to the stock.
3) If you want the meat, but don't have a ham hock, use 4-5 slices of bacon! Everything is better with bacon!
Besides the meat (or no meat), you will need:
2 cups of Split Peas
A small onion
A few stalks of celery
A few carrots
1/2 tsp pepper
Salt to taste (you will need little, if any salt if you use a ham hock)
This is SUCH an easy recipe, I love it. So chop those veggies up...
Add 2 cups split peas, veggies, salt & pepper to your crockpot. Add in 7 cups of hot water and turn your crock pot on high.
I always add hot, boiling water to crockpot recipes because it speeds up the process a bit.
(If you are using a ham hock, throw everything in the pot and remove the hock after a few hours. Allow it to cool, strip the meat off, and add it back to soup.)
If you aren't using a ham hock, fry your bacon. Doesn't it feel indulgent just to fry bacon?
This is the naughty part! If you want the extra savory flavor from the bacon, pour a couple tablespoons of pan drippings into the soup. Notice how I didn't call it "grease"? Hopefully that makes you feel better about adding it! :)
Chop up the bacon and add to the pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low 6-8 hours. It should transform into a thick and luscious soup that will knock your socks off. How can something so simple be so amazing? Enjoy.
If you happen to have leftovers, this soup gets extremely thick upon cooling. Here's a tip for warming this soup up: Add some water to thick soup, and reheat (nuke or stovetop). Give a good stir and it's better on day 2!
I had to post this picture twice because it is so priceless.