While searching for this image I was subjected to Anne Geddes' photos of Celine Dion, dressed as a flower, holding her baby. YOU'RE WELCOME.
Here's the thing about pea soup: it looks like poopy. Baby poopy, really. I'm not even going to post a photo of the soup I made last night, because it is not a beautiful thing. It is a delicious thing, and you should not think about the poop factor.
Pea soup is easy, especially in a slow cooker. If you can't get a ham hock, get a bone-in ham steak and drop it on top of the other ingredients., then carefully remove it before you puree'.
Slow Cooker Pea Soup
1 bag dried spilt peas
6 c chicken broth
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs thyme - or - 1 tsp dried
1 bay leaf
1 smoked ham hock
2 c (or so) chopped ham
Drop all ingredients except for the chopped ham into the crock pot, and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Don't worry, there is no such thing as overcooking this soup.
Remove the ham hock, bay leaves, and the thyme sprigs. Pick any meat off the hock, discard everything else. Puree' soup with an immersion blender. You could also use a regular blender, but for goodness' sake be careful with the boiling soup! Stir in the ham bits, and enjoy!
I served this with warm crusty bread, goat cheese, and sliced Honeycrisp apples.
I went out for our weekly Stitch & Bitch after dinner and drank a wonderful beer - Berkshire Brewing Company's Nitro Coffee Porter. It was the perfect beer for the weather (cold cold cold), but also would have gone so well with our meal. That's not something I would say about many dark beers, as I tend to like then on their own and not as an accompaniment.