This easy recipe for Split Pea Soup can be made on the stove or in your slow cooker. The kick from a dash of chipotle powder and bites of Smoked Gouda keep things interesting. A cozy dinner for a lazy (or busy) day.
1.5poundssmoked hamstill on the bone, or a 1.25 lb ham steak*
1/4teaspoonchipotle chile powderor to taste
1/4teaspoondried thymeor to taste
salt and pepperto taste
6ouncessmoked Goudachopped into cubes or shaved
Rinse and sort the peas, then add to a large stock pot with 10 cups of water. Add 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon (I like the Better Than Bouillon brand). Turn the heat to high and boil for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, ham bone, and chipotle powder. Bring to a boil again, then reduce to a low simmer.
Simmer for at least an hour and a half, or until the vegetables are soft and the soup is at a consistency you like. If the ham is still on the bone, remove from the soup and chop, discarding the bone. Return the meat to the pot.
Salt and pepper to taste. Taste it first; remember, ham is very salty. You might not need any.
Remove soup from heat. Dice the smoked Gouda into bite-size cubes, or use a vegetable peeler to shave it. Add the cheese to the hot soup and stir. Alternatively, you can add the cheese to each individual bowl.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
Add the peas, water, chicken bouillon, bay leaves, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, ham, and chipotle powder to a very large crock pot. Turn it on to low and cook for at least 4 hours, or up to 8. Chop the ham and return, if necessary. Season to taste and garnish with smoked gouda.
*You could also use an equivalent amount of ham hocks. Add to the soup whole, then chop at the end.
If you use a ham steak, chop before adding to the soup, but be sure to add all of it, including the bone. Don't trim the fat. That's where much of the flavor comes from.
^^UPDATE 2017^^ I made this again a few weeks ago and didn't bother chopping my ham steak before throwing it in the crock pot. I just tossed it in, then removed it after slow cooking, shredded it with 2 forks, and put it back in. I like the texture of the meat better this way, but either way will work great!