Friday, 11 February 2011

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is a French Canadian classic and is thick and hearty for keeping you warm in the winter. And this winter we could really use it. In the Toronto area we usually enjoy a frost/thaw cycle that allows the snow to melt a bit between storms. Not this winter though, it just piles up. Frankly I am tired of looking at it and so are the dogs. Jedi just looks out the window and shivers at the sight.

I am promising myself that I will appreciate the warmer weather more this year. You know, get out there and garden more, spend more time outside. (Remind me of this when I am complaining of the humidity and the $#%$ mosquitoes)

But until then, comfort foods reign. This is an adaptation of Mr. Michael Symon's triple pork split pea soup. I figured single pork was just fine for the two of us and I upped the veggies to make up for the bulk. Best of all, I adapted it for the slow cooker, winter's ultimate cooking machine. My version is a little lighter, a little healthier, but just as delicious. Try it yourself!

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
adapted from Michael Symon, original recipe here.
serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp each: cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4½ cups water or stock
½ lb. green split peas (1 cup)
1 smoked ham hock
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
1 bay leaf

Crusty bread -to serve

Directions:
Heat olive oil up on medium-high in a large skillet. Sauté onion, carrot and celery until they start to colour and soften. Remove from heat and pour the veggies into the slow cooker. Add everything else (except the bread).
Cook on low for 8 hours.
½ hour before it is done, take the pork hock out and let it cool on a plate for a few minutes. Then remove the meat and shred it and put the meat back into the slow cooker. Cook on low for the last half hour and serve with crusty bread.