Friday, March 25, 2011

Amazing Split-Pea Soup

Split-Pea soup has gotten most of its publicity from its notorious role in the classic 1973 horror film, The Exorcist. However, I am here to say that there is so much more to this soup than its ability to resemble discolored projectile spew. And really... unless that girl ATE some split pea soup, it's a wonder as to why her spew would be that color in the first place. Anyway, the point I'm (not very successfully) trying to make is that split pea soup is AWESOME. Delicious and nutritious, as they say.

The recipe I'm about to share with you all... could probably win awards. Could probably break records. Could possibly even cure cancer. That's how fantastic it is. The first time I made it, and I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, Rocky and I literally ate the entire pot. Granted, we had skipped lunch that day, and we continued to eat the soup over the course of about 3 hours... but still. That pot was empty. I think I even caught Rocky licking the sides. Basically, it's scrumptious and addictive, and yea, maybe I'm bragging a little bit, but I'm only trying to convince the general public that pea soup needs another chance. If you haven't tried it in awhile, or ever, or are for some reason convinced that you don't like it... I'm here to plead on behalf of this delicious soup. Give Peas a Chance!!!

2 cups dried split peas, rinsed
1/2 dry barley (or brown rice)
7 1/2 cups water
1 ham hock or ham bone
3 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 potatoes, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ham (or bacon)
2 tbs olive oil/butter/bacon fat/etc.
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

     Many crock pot recipes tell you to just throw everything into the pot together, walk away, and eat 8 hours later. This recipe isn't AS simple (still very easy though!) but produces a MUCH better textured, and much more flavorful outcome.
     1. So. First off, ignore the directions on the back of the package of peas. Turn the crock pot onto the 'high' setting and put your peas in, followed by 7 1/2 cups cold water and your ham hock/bone. Put the lid on and let it cook for a minimum of four hours. Don't add anything else. For four hours. Seriously. We want the peas to break down beautifully and soak in the hammy flavor! I usually stir it once or twice during this time.
     2. Once the peas are nearing the end of their initial cook time, heat up your oil in a skillet and add your onions, carrots, potatoes, and garlic, along with the seasoned salt, basil, thyme, and ground pepper. Cook until the onions are transparent and the carrots have softened up. Take skillet off heat.
     3. Check your peas. If they are disintegrating nicely, turn the crock pot to 'low' and add your cooked veggie mixture, sea salt, bay leaf, and barley. Stir it all together, replace lid, and cook for about 2 hours.
     4. Finally, once that time has gone by, heat your skillet back up, and add your ham to it, with a dash of oil. If you are using ham (I am almost always using leftover ham from a baked ham I made a day or two earlier), dice it up before cooking. If you're using bacon, you'll crush it later. Either way, get the meat nice and toasty in the skillet. Once it's ready (crispy, and diced or crushed), add it to your pot, stir together, and cook on low for one last hour.
     5. Ladle into bowls, top with some crunchy homemade croutons*, and enjoy! 

I wish I were eating this RIGHT NOW.

Diced bread, toasted in a skillet with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
Super easy, super tasty.


  1. Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Definitely! I got so in the mood for this while I wrote out the recipe, I'm making it for dinner tonight :)

  3. Looks amazing, vincent has a shirt that says give peas a chance haha I might have to take both of your recommendations and make this....thanks

  4. Allie - that is awesome! I should get myself a shirt like that hahaha. Enjoy the soup :)


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