The parsnips add a creamy sweetness that complements the flavor of the split peas. If parsnips are unavailable, use carrots instead. Because the peas have a tendency to settle on the bottom of the pot, a quick stir midway through the cooking process is helpful. The Liquid Smoke adds a "bacony" flavor to the soup and is available in most supermarkets. While this is intended to be vegetarian, from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, I also made this with a ham bone instead of the liquid smoke and was delicious.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise and cut into thin half moons
- 1 lb dried split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste depending on your stock)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion and parsnips, cover and cook until softened, about five minutes.
- Transfer the vegetables to a 4-6 quart slow cooker and add the peas, thyme, bay leaf and stock. Cover and cook on low for eight hours, stirring once if possible. When it's done, the peas will disappear! (The time may vary, depending on your crock pot - I did three hours on high and one on low.).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Liquid Smoke, if using, remove and discard the bay leaf, and taste to adjust the seasonings.