This soup is the ultimate comfort food and especially easy to make in a crock pot. I like my vegetables chunky, so I add them in about 60 minutes before the end. If you want a smooth soup, add all ingredients at the beginning and puree the soup before readding the diced ham. You can also substitute smoked turkey for the ham, or you can make it vegetarian and just add a little smoke flavor. Serve with crusty bread.
2 1/2 cups green split peas
8 cups liquid (broth or water)
2 tsp salt (reduce if using broth)
1 bay leaf
2lb ham, preferably bone in (about 2 1/2 cups diced)
1 poblano pepper
1 large potato
2 large carrots
3 stalks celery
1 large onion
Black pepper, thyme
Combine split peas, liquid, salt, chopped poblano pepper, bay leaf, and ham in a large pot or crock pot. Simmer until peas are beginning to disintegrate, about 1-2 hours on the stove or 4-5 hours in a crock pot on high.
Cube potato, carrots, and celery. Chop the onion. Add to the soup and simmer for another 30 minutes (60 minutes in crock pot)
While the vegetables are cooking, remove the ham from the soup and dice, discarding the bone. Then add the diced ham back into soup.
Adjust the saltiness and season to taste with pepper and thyme.