Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Serves 7 or 8

1 or 2 tablespoons cooking fat (coconut oil, bacon fat, etc.)
2 onions, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
3 medium carrots, diced small
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your favorite spice level)
3 potatoes, peeled and diced into very small pieces
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
8 cups of stock or broth
2 1/2 cups dried split peas, rinsed
(I always run my fingers through them because I’ve heard that sometimes people find tiny rocks in split peas!)
Salt–perhaps half a teaspoon (Do you measure the salt or do you just shake the shaker until it seems adequate?)
Cooked bacon strips (2 or three per person)

Marinated tomatoes (optional recipe below)

Saute the onions, celery and carrots in the cooking fat. When everything is warm and sizzling but not brown, add the paprika, Herbes de Provence, and red pepper flakes. Let the vegetables cook a few minutes longer so that the spices have a chance to really become flavorful.

Place the cooked vegetables in the slowcooker. Add the potatoes. (Be sure they are cut very small. They are here to thicken the soup.) Add the garlic, the stock, and the peas.

Cook on high for four hours or on low for eight hours. Check it occasionally the first time you make it. Every slow cooker seems to have a slightly different temperature and some will absorb the liquid more quickly than others.

Start marinating your tomatoes at least an hour before dinner.

Before serving, use a potato masher to mash everything up a bit.

Top individual servings with chopped bacon and a spoonful of marinated tomatoes. If desired, drizzle a little of the oil from the tomatoes over each bowl.

Marinated Tomatoes
20 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
about 1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, diced very small
salt, pepper, perhaps some chives or basil

Place the ingredients in a small container with a tight fitting lid. Shake. I give the container a little shake every time I walk through the kitchen.

Note: While I was playing around with this recipe, I used only one potato. About half an hour before dinner, I could see that the soup was far too liquidy for split pea soup! So I peeled and diced two more potatoes and boiled them until they were mashable. I scooped out some of the liquidy soup and threw it in the blender with the potatoes. After blending, I poured it back into the crockpot and stirred everything up. So if your soup is too liquid, you can add another potato using this method. On the other hand, if you can see that your slow cooker cooks more rapidly and there isn’t enough liquid, you could add more stock.

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