Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup


1 pound dried split peas, rinsed and sorted
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth, for that nourishing base
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into small, hopeful cubes
2 ribs of celery, also diced, with as much care as you’d plant your spring garden
1 medium onion, chopped fine as last year’s quilt squares
2 garlic cloves, minced, as fragrant as our lilac breeze in May
1 ham hock, for that smoky whisper of yesteryear (optional, of course)
1 bay leaf, as singular as a promise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A pinch of dried thyme, for that bit of earthiness reminiscent of our fertile soils


1. Start by nestling those beautiful split peas into the belly of your slow cooker like you would lay seeds in your garden bed.
2. Pour in the broth, so clear and inviting, followed by the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, joining the peas like a gathering of old friends.
3. If you’re using the ham hock, place it atop your vegetable medley, like a crown. Scatter the bay leaf and thyme over the top, seasoning with salt and black pepper to your preference, like a light spring rain over the meadow.
4. Secure the lid on your slow cooker, set it to low, and let time work its magic for about 8 hours, or until the peas are tender and have imparted their essence to the liquid’s embrace. Throughout the day, your home will fill with an aroma that fetches memories like photos in an old album.
5. Once done, remove the ham hock, let it cool slightly, then shred the tender meat and stir it back into the soup. Discard the bay leaf, like turning the page to the next chapter.
6. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your liking, then ladle this soulful brew into bowls that will warm hands as well as hearts.