Friday, March 21, 2008

Falling for the Crock Pot

It was one of those slow falls. I thought he was kind of cute when I got him. Just this little guy I could set on the counter. And then the other day I was putting some split peas in to make soup and I thought, I love this thing.

The most amazing thing about the crockpot? Eight hours on low heat, I repeat EIGHT and the carrots were not mushy. How is that even possible? It must be something about the magic 160 degrees.

So this is my first stab at soup in the crockpot and it ain't half bad really. Don't be fooled, you may be thinking "split pea, vegetarian!" But this is split pea soup for pork lovers. The overarching flavor is like bacon, smoky and sweet.

Which is of course, why it's good. ;)

Split pea soup for pork lovers
(Adapted from The Gourmet Slow Cooker)

This was made in a 2 qt crockpot (told you he was a little guy) so you might want to double it

1 sweet onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1 carrot, halved then sliced at an angle
1 stalk celery, sliced at an angle
1 cup split peas
1/2 ham hock (smoked)
3-4 cups chicken broth
fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Saute onions with olive oil until browned, add some salt (~1/2 tsp). Place split peas at bottom of crock pot. Cover with onions, carrots, celery and ham hock. Pour broth over, should almost fill the pot. May need slightly more (didn't actually measure this). Add in a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook 8-10 hours on low heat. Remove thyme sprig. Take out ham hock and cut into small pieces, put pieces back into soup. Salt and pepper to taste.

Oh and just so you know, the split peas don't totally melt to death when this is done, which is kind of why I like it. Though really it's still the pork.

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