Foodie Blogroll

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Split Pea Soup (slow cooker)

It is rather chilly for Florida this time of year. Usually our summer-like weather lasts through the end of October...I know this because you can never dress a child in a Halloween costume that is long sleeved it is just too warm still. It is nice that we can turn off the AC and open the windows, and actually sit out on the lanai without having to jump into the pool.

The temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees over night, then slowly works it way back up. We are dry and sunny so that helps. The kids at school still come in shorts and short sleeves and I knew I would have to get that box of long sleeves and sweatshirt out from the top shelf in the clinic. That where everyone comes when they need shoes for P.E. because they wore flip-flops, or a pair of shorts because theirs ripped or sweatshirt because their mom didn't check the weather forecast. :D

So Friday I had this boy come in from P.E. complaining about his legs are itchy from the cold weather, and as a matter of fact he was itchy I asked how I could help him...he just wanted some calamine lotion (it's magic you know). The funny part is he asked me if he could get frost bite...I told him not in 70 degree weather so he was pretty safe! :) Ha! Florida kids!

To take the chill off from you... soup is a good start! This is one of my favorite split pea soups, I've made it many times. I found the recipe in Parade magazine years ago, it is for a crock pot or slow cooker. I have made it stove top too, both ways are good, you just have to make it the way that works best for you!

2 carrots
2 ribs of celery
1 parsnip (I used 2)
1 onion (I used shallots)
1 leek (3 inches of green left on) I think I used 2
1 ripe tomato
1 ham hock (Optional - I never use this I just dice up some smoked sausage or leave it out if you want it vegetarian)
1 3/4 cups dried split peas
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 cups defatted chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
4 cups water
salt and pepper
chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Cut all of the vegetables into 1/4 inch dice and place them in a crock pot. Add all of the remaining ingredients except salt, pepper and parsley. Cover and cook high for 7 hours. Remove the ham hock and let cool slightly so you can shred any meat from the bone and return the meat to the pot. Season with salt and pepper then stir in the chopped parsley. Make sure you remember to remove the bay leaf before serving.

This time I made it in my dutch oven and with a little oil in the pot I sauteed the onion, celery, carrots, parsnips and leeks for about 5-10 minutes. I like to then add the seasoning, I was a little generous with the measuring and I might of added some marjoram and garlic too. Next add the diced sausage then the tomato. I added 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water, and cooked it for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Then add the salt and pepper and add more water when necessary...make it as soupy as you like it or as thick. Stir in the parsley right before serving.

I just sprinkled the cilantro on top, and I am sure my daughter had sour cream on top of hers...

I like soups with a small dice, the peas are well incorporated into the soup so the veggies stand out. Yum, it just seems to warm you up nicely!