Sunday, January 16, 2011

Peas Porridge Hot, Peas Porridge Cold - January 16th's Recipe

Last week, my husband made an amazing spiral ham for dinner.  I should mention now that he is also a fantastic cook, just wish he would do it more often (love you honey :) ). Since we bought a decent size ham for 4 people (really 3.5, my 19 month old son doesn't eat a lot) we had a lot of ham for left overs.  So one night this week I mad ham and eggs on my electric griddle and tonight I made pea soup in the slow cooker using the ham bone.  I am not a big fan of  left overs, but I do enjoy reworking food into new meals so it doesn't feel like I am eating left overs.  This pea soup is no exception.

Before I even delve into the recipe, I am putting this out there right now.  If you don't have a slow cooker, buy one.  They are relatively inexpensive and allow you to prepare dinner (or any food, really) hours before you need it.  They are perfect for busy mom's but they are also great for singles or busy couples who may not want to come home and race to cook dinner.  I spent 30 bucks on my slow cooker 4 years ago and I can't tell you how many slow cooker based meals I have made. It was definitely worth the 30 dollar investment. There is nothing like coming home to dinner already cooked for you, plus they fill your home with a delicious smell.  Nowadays you can get slow cookers with digital displays that let you program cook times, once the the timer is up it will automatically set to warm so your food will be the perfect temperature while serving.  I am still using a slow cooker with 4 setting knob, it works for now but once it is kaput I will be upgrading.

Anyways, pea soup is a food I had often when I was little.  I remember being sick with the chicken pox and my mom made it especially for me, knowing it was one of my favorites.  It is tasty and a perfect way to make use of a ham bone after making a holiday ham.  You can make it with sausage, ham hock, etc but I prefer it with ham bone that still has some meat on it.   The choice of meat (or lack there of) is yours only, this is just my version of this delicious cold-weather dish. So here is the recipe:

1 Bag of dried Split Peas
1 ham bone, trimmed of excess fat but with some meat reserved on it.
2-3 carrots sliced (or 2-3 handfuls of baby carrots, I leave them whole)
1 medium onion sliced
2 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of water (use chicken broth cans to measure)
2 bay leaves
A trusty slow cooker.

Add ham bone, peas, carrots onions and bay leaves to the slow cooker.  Add chicken broth and water to the slow cooker. Add enough so that the water levels reaches about halfway up the slow cooker.  Set on low and cook for about 8 hours and serve.

That's it, seriously.  The pea soup comes out perfect and the meat falls right off the ham bone, making this a perfect one-dish dinner.  I usually season my food with s&p while cooking but since ham has a lot of sodium I didn't even bother and frankly, this pot of soup didn't need any added seasoning.  I hope you all enjoy it!

Michelle :)

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