Holiday leftovers are nice to have for a day or two, but after that, they’re done. Since I still have carrots, celery and ham left in the fridge, I decided to re-purpose them into Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup. It takes about minutes to put everything into the Crock-pot, and then it it do the work. You can buy the ham already diced, if you don’t have leftovers.
It’s great for a cold winter day. It’s hearty, but healthy — low in fat, high in protein and fiber. It will offer a change from the rich and wonderful food I indulged in the past week — Italian Stuffed Shells, Tortellini, Alfredo Fettuccine, chips and dip, chocolates, and other holiday goodies.
SLOW COOKER SPLIT PEA & HAM SOUP
Total prep time: 3-4 hours (on low) or 6-8 hours (on high)
Active time: 5 minutes
Makes 6 1 1/2-C. servings
1 16-oz. package dried split peas
3 C. water
2 cans chicken stock
2 C. diced ham (cooked bacon could also be used)
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1 cup chopped or sliced celery
1 cup chopped or sliced carrots
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. hickory-flavored salt or liquid smoke, optional
Optional garnishes: Chopped parsley, ham or bacon bits
1. Place all ingredients in a regular-size slower cooker.
2. Cover with lid and cook on high setting 3-5 hours; low setting for 6-8 hours.
3. To serve, garnish with chopped parsley, chopped ham or bacon bits.
— Adapted from “Soup’s On!” by Valerie Phillips