Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup With Horseradish Cream
Yellow or green split peas are consumed around the world because they are cheap, nonperishable and highly nutritious. Preparing them in a slow cooker makes for an affordable, delicious meal-in-a-bowl that requires nothing more than combining all of the ingredients, then simmering for several hours. Don't skip the horseradish cream swirled in at the end; it is the work of just a few minutes, and it makes this humble dish feel special. To make the soup vegetarian, use water instead of chicken stock, increase the smoked paprika to 1 teaspoon, omit the ham, and stir in a spoonful of white or yellow miso paste at the end, which will add savoriness. (You can also prepare this in a pressure cooker.)
- Serves: 6 persons
- 3tablespoons olive oil
- 1yellow or red onion, minced
- 3celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1large carrot, chopped
- 5large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- ½teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½teaspoon garlic powder
- 2fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2fresh or dried bay leaves
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1smoked ham hock (about 1 pound)
- 1pound green or yellow split peas
- 5 ¼cups chicken stock (or water)
- ¼cup dry white wine or vermouth (see Tip)
- ½lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1cup sour cream
- 2tablespoons jarred, drained horseradish
- 1teaspoon Dijon mustard
Step 1In a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker, combine the oil, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, smoked paprika, garlic powder, thyme, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt and a few generous grinds of pepper. Add the ham hock, split peas, stock and wine, and cook on low until the peas are tender, 8 to 10 hours.
Step 2Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the ham hock to a bowl. Using two forks, pull the meat from the ham hock, discard the bone and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice, then taste the soup, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. The soup will thicken as it sits; if it is too thick for your taste, stir in a bit of warm broth or water.
Step 3Combine the sour cream, horseradish and mustard in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup with the horseradish cream for topping.