I love split pea soup. My kids aren't quite as gung-ho about it as I am, but I do love just how simple, straightforward and soul-satisfying it can be. And I love that it can be made in a pressure-cooker, a Dutch oven, or a crock-pot -fast, medium or slow- and it is always good and comforting, either with or without the ham hock, and by whichever method you choose to make it. I made some in the crock-pot a couple days ago, and then baked some cornbread muffins to serve with the soup, using the recipe on the back of the cornmeal box. A dab of homemade jam for the muffins, and it makes for a satisfying simple meal.
Split Pea and Ham Soup
For 4 people, place in crock-pot:
1 qt. water
1/2 ham hock (or omit for vegetarian version and add salt)
1 c. split peas
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2-4 bay leaves
bit of black pepper
Cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove ham hock to a plate, discard bones, dice meat, and return to pot.
2-3 T. molasses
salt to taste, if needed (I don't add any with the ham hock included)