Crock-Pot Split Pea Soup
I'm not sure exactly when I started loving peas. I remember detesting them as a child, literally gagging at the mere sight of those little green balls on my plate. But, one day, as a struggling twenty-something, I picked up a $0.22 can of peas at the grocery store, along with some instant mashed potatoes, and I made this weird mashed-potato-and-pea mixture for about $1.00! It actually tasted pretty good and it really comforted my broke soul and my broke pocket-book. From that point on, I was hooked!
Today, in addition to my love of peas, I LOVE nothing more than a super quick, super easy, slow-cooker recipe that requires minimal prep. Sometimes, I just need to be able to throw something together in the wee hours of the morning while I'm half asleep and base-lining my first cup of coffee. Y'all, this recipe satisfies that need in a big way!
If you have a slow-cooker, a bag of dried split peas, a few carrots, a couple of baby potatoes, and some herbs and spices, then you will have a "dinner winner" on your hands in no time! Let that sucker sit on 'LOW' all day while you're out living your best life and come home to a house full of yummy smells and a pot full of Split Pea magic!
If you dont have 8 hours to cook on 'LOW', kick it up to 'HIGH' for 4 hours and you're golden!
You can also really get creative with the spices here. It's all about preference with this one. I used salt, pepper, ground sage, 1 Bay leaf, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra little kick. I think the red onion in this really gives it a punch, but if you're not a big stinky onion person, a white or yellow onion would be more mild.
On my first 'Go' at this, I started with 3 cups of water and 3 cups of veggie broth, but I thought the end result was a tad too thick once it hit the bowl. So, the second time around, I added 3/4 cup of water and that helped quite a bit. Again, personal preference will come into play with this recipe.
Back in the day, I used to take family trips to Solvang, CA (the cutest little Danish tourist town in So-Cal), and we would always stop at Pea Soup Andersen's while we were there. My parents always loved it (I still hated peas at this point), but I remember the soup was dressed up with cheese, bacon, sour cream, bread crumbs, etc. It looked so appetizing, but I wasn't about to try it back then...I had strong principles as a 10-year-old!
But, now I'm a big girl and I can make some super spiffed-up split pea soup, too! You can totally dress this soup up with some Vegan sour cream, Vegan shredded cheese, heck, even some carrot-bacon if you're feeling adventurous! In the picture below, I just added chives and green onions, but after I snapped the pic, I tossed a messy heap of Vegan sour cream on top. It wasn't pretty, but it was delicious!