Thanksgiving may be over, but there are plenty of other delicious meals that will keep you in the holiday spirit! I love to use slow cookers when the weather is cold outside. They are a great way to make healthy meals packed with veggies, with lots of left-overs to eat through the week. And it makes the house smell amazing!! Slow cookers are the best on ski days when you can throw all the ingredients together in the morning, let it cook while you ski, and then come back to a delicious ready-made meal. Here is my all-time favorite slow cooker recipe for split pea soup with ham.
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water (or 1 cup if you like your soup thicker)
- 1 pounds dried green split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 4 small carrots, diced small
- 1 celery stalk, diced small
- 1 bell pepper, diced small
- 2 small ham hocks (1 1/4 pounds total), with several 1/2-inch slits cut into skin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled)
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil, then carefully pour into a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Add split peas, onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and ham hocks; season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on high until split peas are creamy, 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove ham hocks from pot. Discard skin and bones; dice meat. Discard bay leaves. Lightly mash peas with the back of a wooden spoon. Return ham to soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I recommend having a metal slow cooker so that you can use it on the stove or pour boiling water into it. A ceramic slow-cooker can crack if it gets too hot. This is the one that I use: