So this was the absolutely perfect day to serve a soup that seems to call for weather like this - split pea soup. To me, split pea soup is something that unless the temperatures dip lower than freezing, I find I usually don't have a desire to partake in it. (I know I must be in the minority as it is on menus all year long, but for me, it symbolizes winter comfort.) I began my preparations yesterday using - you guessed it - my slow cooker. This is actually the perfect way to prepare this soup that seems to call for time to meld flavors together slowly.
While that was heating, I chopped one medium onion and five cloves of garlic very finely. Once the oil was ready, I popped the onions and garlic in and stirred this mixture.
The final step is to add the broth and water. I usually use about about a quart of chicken broth that I've either prepare ahead of time (I usually have some in the refrigerator) or one of the prepared versions that are available (I like to use the paper carton of organic chicken broth to cut down on preservatives, etc, that might be found in more commercial broths). Then I fill the slow cooker almost to the top with water, cover, and set it on low to cook throughout the day (if this is the morning) or overnight. Once everything has melded together and the peas are totally soft (no I don't blend this, but sometimes it looks like I might have), I add about a tablespoon of cider vinegar (I use Bragg's). I'm not sure why I started to do this, but have found it aids the digestion of this soup and adds something to the flavor overall.
Now it's ready to serve. I usually toast some rolls or baguettes to accompany it. Today my neighbors enjoyed a bowl after plowing my driveway out. Instant hospitality and warmth - you can't ask more from food than that!
Enjoy and stay warm during this oh so cold winter evening!
*Remember this recipe is geared to a five quart slow cooker, you'll need to amend this recipe to the size you're working with at home.)